Colleges and Universities Announce the Appointments of Seven Women to Dean Positions

Rose Cuison-Villazor was appointed interim oo-dean of Rutgers Law School in Newark, New Jersey. She is the first Asian-American woman dean at Rutgers Law School and the first Filipina-American dean of a U.S. law school. Cuison-Villazor, an expert in immigration and citizenship law, has served as the vice dean of Rutgers Law School in Newark since July 2019. She also is the founding director of the Center for Immigration Law, Policy and Justice.

Cuison-Villazor is a graduate of the University of Texas. She earned a juris doctorate at American University in Washington, D.C. and holds a master’s degree in law from Columbia University

Ramona Denby-Brinson has been appointed dean of the School of Social Work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She was a professor and associate dean for academic affairs in the College of Social Work at Ohio State University, where she has worked since 2019. Earlier, Dr. Denby-Brinson was associate dean for research at the College of Public Service and Community Solutions and professor in the School of Social Work at Arizona State University.

Dr. Denby-Brinson earned a bachelor’s degree in social work from Arizona State University. She holds a master of social work degree from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and a doctorate in social work from Ohio State University.

Cecilia Konchar Farr was selected to be the dean of the College of Liberal and Creative Arts at West Liberty University in West Virginia. She has been serving as a professor of English and women’s studies at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota. She first joined the faculty there in 1994.

Dr. Farr earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and French at Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania. She holds a master’s degree in literature from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, and a doctoral degree in literature and theory from Michigan State University.

Danielle Dennis has been named interim dean of the Alan Shawn Feinstein College of Education and Professional Studies at the University of Rhode Island. She has been serving as director of the university’s School of Education. Dr. Dennis came to the University of Rhode Island in 2019 from the University of South Florida where she was an associate professor and co-coordinator of the Urban Teacher Residency Program.

Dr. Dennis holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Florida Gulf Coast University. She earned a master’s degree in science and environmental education from the University of Minnesota, Duluth and a Ph.D. in language and literacy education from the University of Tennessee.

Karen C. Goff was appointed dean of students at Oberlin College in Ohio, effective September 20. For the past five years, she has been vice president for student affairs and dean of students at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia. Earlier, she was the chief student affairs officer at Georgian Court University in New Jersey.

Dr. Goff holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and history from Georgian Court University and a master of divinity degree with a concentration in counseling from Nyack College in New York. She holds an educational doctorate from Northeastern University in Boston.

Pamela Padilla was named dean of the College of Science at the University of North Texas. A professor of biological sciences. Dr. Padilla previously served as vice president of research and innovation, as well as associate dean for research and graduate studies in the College of Science. She has been on the faculty since 2008.

Dr. Padilla holds a bachelor’s degree in biology and a Ph.D. in molecular genetics from the University of New Mexico.

Melissa Lubin is the inaugural dean of the new School of Professional and Continuing Education at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. She joined the staff at the university in 2016 and has served as chief economic engagement officer. Previously, she was director of Virginia Tech’s Commonwealth Campus Centers in Richmond, Newport News, and Virginia Beach.

Dr. Lubin is a graduate of Armstrong State College, which is now part of Georgia Southern University. She holds an MBA from Georgia Southern University and a Ph.D. from Virginia Tech.

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