Eight Women Scholars Who Have Been Appointed University Deans

Denise Bates was named dean of University College at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, effective July 1. She has been serving as associate dean for student success and community engagement and faculty head and professor in the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts at Arizona State University.

Dr. Bates is a graduate of what is now California State Polytechnic University, Humboldt, where she majored in American Indian studies. She holds a master’s in degree in American Indian studies and a Ph.D. in history from Arizona State University.

Ann Vail has been selected as dean of the Graduate School at the University of South Carolina, effective July 1. She has been serving as a professor in the department of family sciences in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment at the University of Kentucky. Earlier, she was a full professor at New Mexico State University and head of the department of family and consumer sciences and the department of extension family and consumer sciences.

Dr. Vail is a graduate of Colorado State University, where she majored in family and consumer sciences education. She holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in home economics education from Ohio State University.

Merritt McAlister was appointed interim dean of the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida, effective June 1. She joined the faculty at the law school in 2018 and teaches courses on the federal courts, constitutional law, federal habeas corpus, and judicial decision-making.

McAlister studied English and women and gender studies at Rice University in Houston. She earned a juris doctorate from the University of Georgia School of Law.

Suzanne Raitt was appointed dean of the faculty of Arts & Sciences at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. She has served as acting dean since January 1. Dr. Raitt has been a professor in the English department since 2000, and chancellor Professor of English since 2015.

Dr. Raitt holds a bachelor’s degree and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Cambridge in England. She holds a master’s degree in English from Yale University.

Dawn McCormack, an Egyptologist, will be the first woman dean of the Howard College of Arts and Sciences at Samford University in Homewood, Alabama, effective July 1. For the past four years, Dr. McCormack has been associate dean of the Middle Tennessee State University College of Graduate Studies.

Dr. McCormack holds a bachelor’s degree and a Ph.D. in Near Eastern languages and civilizations from the University of Pennsylvania.

Michele Moore is the new dean of the Graduate School at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville. She is a professor in the department of public health and her research focuses on adolescent sexual health behavior.

Dr. Moore holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology, a master’s degree in health promotion, and a Ph.D. in health behavior, all from the University of Florida.

Mary W. Stewart will be the inaugural dean for the recently announced master of science in nursing degree program at Mississippi State University-Meridian. She was a tenured professor and director of the Ph.D. program in nursing science at the University of Mississippi Medical Center’s School of Nursing in Jackson.

Dr. Stewart is a graduate of Mississippi College, where she majored in nursing. She holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in nursing science from the University of Mississippi Medical Center’s School of Nursing.

Melissa Bledsoe will lead Missouri State University’s Darr College of Agriculture as interim dean beginning July 1. She has been serving as interim associate dean. Dr. Bledsoe joined the faculty as an assistant professor in 2014 and was promoted to associate professor in 2019.

Dr. Bledsoe earned a bachelor’s degree in horticulture and a master’s degree in plant science from Missouri State University. She received a doctorate in plant, insect, and microbial sciences from the University of Missouri.

Filed Under: Appointments


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