Six Women Who Have Been Named Deans at Colleges and Universities

Julia M. Ritter is the new dean of the Kaufman School of Dance at the University of Southern California. She is currently a professor of dance at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University in New Jersey, where she served as chair and artistic director of the department of dance from 2010 to 2021. Professor Ritter is the author of Tandem Dances: Choreographing Immersive Performance (Oxford University Press, 2020).

Dr. Ritter holds a bachelor’s degree in dance from Rutgers University. She earned a master of fine arts degree at Temple University in Philadelphia and a Ph.D. in dance from Texas Woman’s University.

Keshia Elder has been named dean of the College of Optometry at the University of Missouri–St. Louis, effective September 1. She has been serving as director of diversity, equity, and inclusion and director of externships at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry. She was an associate clinical professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis from 2011 to 2016.

Dr. Elder is a graduate of Clemson University in South Carolina, where she majored in mathematics. She holds two master’s degrees – one in vision science and a second in instructional design – and a doctor of optometry degree, all from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Sonia Kreidenweis was appointed interim dean of the Graduate School and vice provost for graduate affairs at Colorado State University. Dr. Kreidenweis is a University Distinguished Professor and serves as executive associate dean in the Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering. She joined Colorado State University in 1991.

Professor Kreidenweis is a graduate of Manhattan College in Riverdale, New York. She holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the California Institute of Technology.

Amy Falkner has been appointed as the next dean of Ithaca College’s Roy H. Park School of Communications, effective August 1. She has been serving as senior associate dean at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.

Falkner holds a bachelor’s degree in communications/journalism from St. John Fisher College n Rochester, New York, and a master’s degree in magazine journalism from Syracuse University.

Lisa A. Freeman will serve as interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois Chicago beginning August 16. Professor Freeman currently serves as head of the English department and has been a member of the university’s faculty since 1994. Her research focuses on 18th-century English literature and theater and performance studies. Her latest book is Antitheatricality and the Body Public (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2017).

Professor Freeman holds a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, where her dissertation was entitled “Theatrical Imaginings: Genre, Character, and Identity on the Eighteenth-Century English Stage.”

Stacey Altman has been appointed interim dean of the College of Health and Human Performance at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. Dr. Altman has been at ECU since 2002 and has served as chair of the department of kinesiology.

Professor Altman is a graduate of Coastal Carolina University in Conway, South Carolina, where she majored in political science. She earned a master’s degree in sport and fitness administration from the University of Georgia and a juris doctorate from the University of Alabama.

Filed Under: Appointments


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