Eight Women Who Have Been Appointed Deans at Colleges and Universities

Wiebke Strehl was selected to serve as dean of arts, humanities and social science at Newberry College in South Carolina. Since 2020 she has been director of academic affairs and professor of German at Pennsylvania State University Brandywine. Before that, she served as dean of humanities and chaired the department of modern languages and literatures at the University of North Carolina at Asheville.

Dr. Strehl holds a bachelor’s degree in German and English from Pädagogische Hochschule Flensburg in Germany. She earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in German from Pennsylvania State University.

Sonja Harris-Haywood was appointed dean of the School of Medicine at Meharry Medical College in Nashville. Dr. Harris-Haywood comes to Meharry from Northeast Ohio Medical University College of Medicine, where she served as associate dean of curriculum integration and one of the key leaders that drove the transformation, implementation, and assessment of a new medical school curriculum that integrated medical and clinical sciences.

A graduate of Seton Hall University in South Orange, New Jersey, Dr. Harris-Haywood earned a master’s degree in science education from New York University in 1992, and a master’s degree in clinical investigation from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. She received her medical degree from New Jersey Medical School.

Sarah Banet-Weiser has been named dean of the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. She is the Lauren Berlant Professor of Communication at the Annenberg School. From 2018 to 2021, Dr. Banet-Weiser was head of the media and communications department at the London School of Economics and Political Science. She is the co-author of Believability: Sexual Violence, Media, and the Politics of Doubt (Polity, 2023).

Dr. Banet-Weiser holds bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in communication from the University of California, San Diego.

Laurie Garrett-Cobbina is the new dean of the San Francisco Theological Seminary of the University of Redlands in California. Dr. Garrett-Cobbina holds the Shaw Chair for Clinical Pastoral Education and is the director of the Shaw Chaplaincy Institute. She is also a professor of pastoral care and education. Dr. Garrett-Cobbina joined the faculty at the university in 2006.

Dr. Garrett-Cobbina holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Syracuse University. She earned a master of divinity degree and a master of theology degree from the Princeton Theological Seminary in New Jersey and a doctorate in interdisciplinary studies from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California.

Mollye Demosthenidy has accepted the appointment as the new dean of Newcomb-Tulane College in New Orleans. She has been serving as associate dean for strategic initiatives in the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine at Tulane University. She joined the faculty at the university in 2011.

Demosthenidy is a graduate of Louisiana State University. She holds a master’s degree in health administration and a juris doctorate from Tulane University.

Jenna Hyatt has been named dean of students for the Washington State University System. She will also serve as associate vice chancellor for student affairs at the flagship campus of the university at Pullman. She is the former associate dean of students at Central Washington University.

Dr. Hyatt is a graduate of Central Washington University. She holds a master’s degree in college student counseling from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, and a doctorate in higher education administration from the University of North Texas.

Deleise Wilson is the inaugural AdventHealth Dean of Nursing at Polk State College in Winter Haven, Florida. Before coming to Polk State, Wilson spent two years as senior associate dean of faculty affairs at the University of South Florida’s College of Nursing. Previously, she served for five years as director of nursing at Kettering College in Ohio.

Born in Guyana, Wilson earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Northern Caribbean University in Manchester, Jamaica. She holds a master’s degree in nursing education from Columbia University.

Mary Gallant was named dean of the Zuckerberg College of Health Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, effective September 5. She has been serving as interim dean of the School of Public Health at the University at Albany of the State University of New York System. She joined the faculty at the University at Albany as an assistant professor in 1996.

Dr. Gallant earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Harvard University. She holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in health behavior and health education from the University of Michigan School of Public Health.

Filed Under: Appointments


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  1. M. Evelyn Fields says:

    Dr. M. Evelyn Fields
    Dean of the College of Education, Humanities and Social Sciences
    SC State University
    Orangeburg, SC
    Appointed May 16, 2023

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