New Dean Appointments for a Dozen Women Scholars

Kate Eichhorn has been named dean of the School of Arts at Emerson College in Boston. She has over 16 years of academic leadership experience, currently serving as dean and professor of culture and media studies at The New School in New York City. She has authored several books including The End of Forgetting: Growing Up With Social Media (Harvard University Press, 2019).

Dr. Eichhorn is a graduate of three Canadian universities. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English and women’s studies from Trent University, a master’s degree in education from Simon Fraser University, and a Ph.D. in language, culture, and teaching from York University.

Marcelle Haddix has been appointed dean of the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has been with Syracuse University in New York for the past 16 years, most recently serving as the associate provost for strategic initiatives.

Dr. Haddix is a graduate of Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, where she majored in secondary education. She holds a master’s degree in adult education from Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and a doctorate in education from Boston College.

Margaret Young has been named dean and director of Ohio State University at Lima. She has served as interim dean of the campus for over a year. She has been with the Lima campus for over a decade, holding positions such as associate professor of music, honors director, and assistant dean.

Dr. Young is a graduate of Luther College in Iowa, where she double-majored in piano performance and music management. She holds a master of music degree in piano performance and collaborative piano from Bowling Green State University in Ohio and a doctor of musical arts degree from the University of Texas.

Jacqueline Van Hoomissen has been appointed dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington. She has spent the past two decades with the University of Portland, serving in various academic roles such as professor of biology, associate dean for scholarship and creative engagement, director of undergraduate research, and associate dean for academic affairs.

Dr. Van Hoomissen holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Portland and a Ph.D. in exercise science with an emphasis in neuroscience from the University of Georgia.

Leslie Keuning Duinink has been promoted to dean of undergraduate education at Central College in Iowa. She is an associate professor of kinesiology who has taught various athletic training, exercise science, and liberal arts courses at Central College for over two decades.

Duinink is a cum laude graduate of Central College, where she majored in history with an emphasis in secondary education. She holds a master’s degree in physical education from Indiana State University.

Mary-Bendel Simso has been promoted to dean of the faculty at McDaniel College in Maryland. She has taught in the college’s English department for nearly three decades. She is the co-author of The Essential Elements of the Detective Story, 1820-1891 (McFarland & Company, 2017).

Dr. Bendel-Simso is a graduate of St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota, where she majored in English. She holds a master’s degree and Ph.D. from Binghamton University in New York.

Ramona Benkert has been appointed dean of the College of Nursing at Wayne State University in Detroit. She has served as the college’s acting dean since November 2023. Earlier in her tenure with the university, she served as associate dean for academic and clinical affairs.

Dr. Benkert holds a bachelor of nursing degree from Mercy College of Detroit, a master of nursing degree from Wayne State University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.

Heather McKnight has been named the inaugural dean of the College of Nursing, Health, and Human Services at Texas A&M University-Texarkana. She has been with the university since 2015, most recently serving as an associate professor of nursing and director of the nursing program.

Dr. McKnight received her associate’s degree in nursing and bachelor’s degree in psychology from Southern Arkansas University. She holds a master’s degree in nursing leadership and management and a doctor of nursing practice degree from Walden University in Minneapolis.

Cynthia Mejia has been appointed dean of the Rosen College of Hospitality Management at the University of Central Florida. She has held the position on an interim basis since October 2023. She has over a decade of experience with the university, formerly serving as a department chair.

Dr. Mejia holds a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from California Polytechnic State University, a master’s degree in hospitality management from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and a doctorate in hospitality administration from Texas Tech University.

Amy Lingo has been named dean of the College of Education at Georgia Southern University. She currently serves as interim dean of the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Louisville. She also serves as a professor in the department of special education and early childhood and prevention science.

Dr. Lingo is a graduate of Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky, where she majored in human physiology and health. She received her master’s degree and Ph.D. in special education from the University of Kentucky.

Amy R. Darragh has been appointed dean of the College of Health at Virginia Commonwealth University. She comes to her new position from Ohio State University, where she has served as director and vice dean in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences.

Dr. Darragh is a graduate of Barnard College in New York City, where she double-majored in psychology and the arts. She holds a master’s degree in occupational therapy and Ph.D. in environmental health epidemiology from Colorado State University.

Sarah Diem has been named interim dean of the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Missouri. She currently serves the university as chair of the department of educational leadership and policy analysis and faculty affiliate in the Harry S. Truman School of Government and Public Affairs, as well as the Qualitative Inquiry program.

Dr. Diem holds a doctorate in educational policy and planning from the University of Texas.

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