New Dean Appointments for Six Women Scholars

Gannon Tagher has been appointed as the permanent dean of the College of Health and Human Services at Northern Kentucky University after holding the position on an interim basis for over a year. She has been a member of the university’s nursing faculty for nearly two decades. During her tenure, she has held numerous leadership positions including assistant vice provost for advising and first-year experience.

Dr. Tagher received her bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in nursing from the University of Kentucky. She holds a doctorate in educational leadership with an emphasis on nursing education from Northern Kentucky University.

Tseh-sien Kelly Vaughn has been selected to serve as interim dean of the School of Education at Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont, California. She is a professor of education and leadership who has been with the university for over 15 years.

Dr. Vaughn is a two-time graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles where she received her bachelor’s degree in East Asian languages, literatures, and linguistics, as well as her master’s degree in education. She holds a second master’s degree in Asian-American studies from San Francisco State University and a Ph.D. in education from Stanford University.

Kelly Erby, who has served as interim dean for the past year, has been named the permanent dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas. She first joined the university in 2011 as an assistant professor of history, and has since achieved the rank of full professor. Prior to her interim dean appointment, she served as associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. She is the author of Restaurant Republic: The Rise of Public Dining in Boston (University of Minnesota Press, 2016).

Dr. Erby is a graduate of Ohio State University where she double-majored in history and English. She holds a master’s degree and doctorate in history from Emory University in Atlanta.

Elizabeth Spiller has been named dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of South Florida in Tampa. She most recently served as executive vice chancellor and chief academic officer at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She previously held leadership positions with the University of California, Davis, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and Florida State University.

Dr. Spiller is a graduate of Amherst College in Massachusetts, where she majored in English literature. She holds a master’s degree and doctorate in English and American language and literature from Harvard University.

Emily A Roper has been named dean of the College of Nursing and Health Professions at Drexel University in Philadelphia. She comes to her new position from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas, where she served as dean of the College of Health Sciences. She had been a faculty member at Sam Houston State University for nearly two decades.

Dr. Roper is a graduate of Kent State University in Ohio, where she majored in psychology. She holds a master’s degree in community health from the University of Toronto and a Ph.D. in cultural studies of sport from the University of Tennessee. Both of her graduate degrees include an emphasis on sport and exercise psychology.

Beth NeSmith has been appointed as the permanent dean of the College of Nursing at Augusta University in Georgia after serving as interim dean since November. She first joined the university’s faculty in 2008. Prior to her interim appointment, she served as chair of the department of nursing science and director of the Ph.D. in nursing program.

Dr. NeSmith is a three-time graduate of the Medical College in Georgia in Augusta, where she received her bachelor of nursing degree, master of nursing degree in public health and community nursing, and a Ph.D. in nursing science.

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