A Quartet of Women Named to Dean Positions at State Universities

Alison Harmon is the new dean of the College of Education, Health and Human Development at Montana State University in Bozeman. She has been serving as interim dean since 2015. Dr. Harmon joined the faculty at the university in 2004 and is a full professor of food and nutrition and sustainable food systems. Earlier, she was on the faculty at Pennsylvania State University.

Professor Harmon is a graduate of the University of Michigan, where she majored in biology. She holds a master’s degree in forest resources and a Ph.D. in nutrition from Pennsylvania State University.

JoAnn Slama Lighty will be the next dean of the College of Engineering at Boise State University in Idaho. She will take office on July 17. Dr. Lighty currently serves as professor of chemical engineering at the University of Utah. She has served on the faculty there for 28 years. Professor Lighty served for six years as chair of the department of chemical engineering and for three years as director of the Institute for Combustion and Energy Studies.

Professor Lighty holds a bachelor’s degree and a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Utah.

Laura Bloomberg has appointed dean of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, effective June 12. Since January 2013, she has been serving as associate dean at the school. She joined the staff at the University of Minnesota in 2007.

Dr. Bloomberg is a graduate of St. Cloud State University in Minnesota, where she majored in special education. She holds a master’s degree in educational psychology from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, and a Ph.D. in educational policy and administration from the University of Minnesota.

Sarah Gehlert was named dean of the College of Social Work at the University of South Carolina. She has been serving as the E. Desmond Lee Professor of Racial and Ethnic Diversity at Washington University in St. Louis. Prior to joining the faculty at Washington University, Dr. Gehlert taught at the University of Chicago, the University of Missouri and the Universidad Nacional Major de San Marcos in Lima, Peru.

Professor Gehlert holds a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree in anthropology, and a master of social work degree from the University of Missouri. She earned her doctorate at Washington University.


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