A Quartet of Women Who Have Been Selected to Serve as Chairs of Their Academic Departments

Hui Cai, associate professor of architecture and associate director of the Institute of Health + Wellness Design at the University of Kansas, has been named chair of the department of architecture. Dr. Cai joined the faculty at the University of Kansas in 2014 after teaching at the University of Missouri in Columbia.

Dr. Cai received a doctorate in evidence-based design from the Georgia Institute of Technology after several years of architectural education and practice in China and Singapore.

Reeta Rao has been appointed interim head of the department of biology and biotechnology in the School of Arts and Sciences at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts. A member of the faculty since 2004, Professor Rao recently completed a two-year term as the inaugural associate dean of graduate studies at the institute. Her research is focused on fungal pathogens.

Dr. Rao is a graduate of the Birla Institute of Technology and Science in Pinia, India. She holds a master’s degree in biotechnology from Drexel University in Philadelphia and a Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology from Pennsylvania State University.

Machelle Pardue was appointed interim chair of the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering, a joint program at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University. Dr. Pardue joined the department in 2015 and has been serving as associate chair for faculty development.

Dr. Pardue received a bachelor’s degree in zoology from the University of Wyoming and a Ph.D. in vision science and biology from the University of Waterloo in Canada.

Constance Vale has been named chair of undergraduate architecture at the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis. Vale, who joined the Sam Fox School as an assistant professor in 2017, previously taught at the Southern California Institute of Architecture and the University of California, Los Angeles.

Vale earned a bachelor’s degree in fine arts in 2007 from Parsons School of Design in New York City and a master of architecture degree in 2014 from the Yale School of Architecture.

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