Three Women Appointed to Positions as Deans at State Universities

Harriet B. Nembhard was appointed dean of the University of Iowa College of Engineering. She will take office on June 29. Currently, she is the Eric R. Smith Professor of Engineering and head of the School of Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering at Oregon State University. Earlier, Dr. Nembhard was a professor in the department of industrial and manufacturing engineering at Pennsylvania State University. Her research is focused on improving complex systems across manufacturing and health care.

Nembhard earned a bachelor’s degree in management from Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, California, and a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Arizona State University. She holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in industrial and operations engineering from the University of Michigan.

Mari Castañeda has been named the new dean of the Commonwealth Honors College at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She will start her new job on September 1. Dr. Castañeda is a professor of communication and associate dean for equity and inclusion in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the university. She has taught at the university for 19 years and has served as chair of the communications department. Professor Castañeda’s research interests include the study of digital media and telecommunication policy, Latina/ethnic media studies, and academic cultures of care.

A 1993 graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles, Professor Castañeda earned a bachelor’s degree in communications, with an emphasis on Chicana/Latino studies and media studies. She holds a Ph.D. in communication from the University of California, San Diego.

The University of Northern Colorado in Greeley has appointed SherRhonda Gibbs as the next dean of the university’s Kenneth W. Monfort College of Business. Her appointment begins in July. Currently, Dr. Gibbs holds the Alvin Williams Endowed Chair of Minority Entrepreneurship in the School of Management at the University of Southern Mississippi. She also serves as the interim director of the School of Management. Earlier in her career, Dr. Gibbs served on the faculty at Jackson State University in Mississippi and held posts at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and at IBM Corporation.

Professor Gibbs is a graduate of Grambling State University in Louisiana, where she majored in computer science. She holds an MBA from Winona State University in Minnesota and a doctorate in business administration from Jackson State University.


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