Rhonda Mandel is College of Liberal Arts and Sciences' new dean

Rhonda MandelDr. Rhonda Mandel was appointed the new dean of SUNY Oswego’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, officially starting June 1.

Mandel was interim dean for two and a half years after former Dean of Arts and Sciences Sara Varhus left to become vice president of academic affairs at Nazareth College in January 2007.

A member of Oswego’s psychology faculty for more than 25 years, Mandel previously chaired the psychology department for two years and served as SUNY Oswego’s associate provost for over 10 years.

“Dr. Mandel brings to the role of dean not only a deep understanding of SUNY Oswego but also an unwavering commitment to our institution’s success,” said Dr. Susan Coultrap-McQuin, Oswego’s vice president for academic affairs and provost.

In addition to being a leading representative of SUNY Oswego, the dean oversees policy, budget and personnel matters in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the largest of Oswego’s four academic divisions. The college encompasses 16 academic departments with about 200 full-time faculty who offer more than 40 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. The college is a leader in undergraduate research, external grant funding and interdisciplinary programming.

As interim dean, Mandel oversaw the transition from College of Arts and Sciences to College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in 2008 when four of its departments joined to form the new School of Communication, Media and the Arts.

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences “in the next five years will see dramatic changes in facilities and curricular opportunities for students,” Coultrap-McQuin said. Mandel will oversee a $120 million capital project for new science facilities, growth of engineering programs, and development of new programs and projects across the liberal arts and sciences, the provost noted.

As associate provost, Mandel was instrumental in enhancing the experience of Oswego’s first-year students. She helped initiate Oswego’s First-Year Residential Experience, Preceptor Program, First-Year Advisement Program, FirstChoice and the Oswego Reading Initiative. The National Center for the First-Year Experience and Houghton Mifflin Publishers honored her as a First-Year Advocate.

She also oversaw the expansion of SUNY Oswego’s performing arts series, developed the academic components of the Hart Global Living and Learning Center, organized the first two Oswego symposia on learning and teaching, and joined with two deans to develop a nationally recognized project on integrative learning, among other accomplishments as associate provost.

Mandel received her bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in psychology from the SUNY University of Buffalo. She also earned a master’s degree in library science from SUNY Geneseo and a certificate of advanced study from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

Her scholarly publications involve the areas of gerontology and child development, the first-year experiences of college students, academic advising, and the relationship between student affairs and academic affairs. She is a member of the Gerontological Society of America and the Society for Research in Child Development.

Active in the community, she has been a consultant for the Oswego County Health Department and Headstart. She is a past president of the County of Oswego Child Care Council and former board member of the Oswego Children’s Center.

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(Posted: Jun 02, 2009)