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Arts and Sciences Welcomes New Associate Dean, Academic Chairs

Interim Dean Ruhlandt says appointees will usher College into 'new era of excellence'

Aug 8, 2014 | Article by: Rob Enslin

Photo of Karin Ruhlandt

Karin Ruhlandt


Karin Ruhlandt, interim dean of Syracuse University’s College of Arts and Sciences, has appointed a new associate dean and four new academic chairs.

The appointments, which go into effect immediately, are as follows: Paul Fitzgerald, associate dean for science, mathematics, and research; Karen Doherty, chair of communication sciences and disorders (CSD); Erin Mackie, chair of English; Uday Banerjee, chair of mathematics; and Vivian May, chair of women’s and gender studies. 

“I am honored to appoint these professors to my leadership team,” says Ruhlandt. “All of them are highly regarded scholars and teachers, as well as exceptional administrators. Their expertise will help usher the College into a new era of academic excellence.”

An Earth Sciences professor, Fitzgerald is a geologist whose tectonics research investigates how mountains form. He works mainly in Antarctica, Alaska, Papua New Guinea, and the Pyrenees (Spain) and has led numerous expeditions, climbing the highest peaks in North America, Antarctica, and elsewhere to collect samples for his research. Fitzgerald has previously held positions at The University of Arizona, Arizona State University, The University of Melbourne (Australia), and Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand). He has worked as the science strategy manager for Antarctica New Zealand and is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America.

Professor Doherty studies speech perception in the hearing-impaired, psychoacoustics, and amplification, with a specific interest in improving hearing-aid fitting protocols for older people. She is a core faculty member of the Syracuse University Aging Studies Institute and serves on the executive committee of the College’s neuroscience program.

Professor Mackie is a scholar of the English Restoration and of 18th-century British literature and culture who has held faculty positions in Japan and New Zealand. The former department chair (2008-11) is the author of three books, including Rakes, Highway Men, and Pirates: The Making of the Modern Gentleman in the Eighteenth Century (The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009).

Professor Banerjee is an applied mathematician who analyzes numerical methods to approximate solutions, as well as eigenvalues and eigenvectors of elliptic partial differential equations (PDEs). His current research program includes various aspects of Meshless Methods, Generalized Finite Element Methods, and elliptic PDEs with non-smooth coefficients.

Professor May specializes in Black feminist thought, feminist philosophy, African American literature, and intersectionality. She is the author of numerous articles, as well as two books from Routledge: Pursuing Intersectionality, Unsettling Dominant Imaginaries (forthcoming, 2015) and Anna Julia Cooper, Visionary Black Feminist: A Critical Introduction (2007). May is also the newly elected president of the National Women’s Studies Association, a professional organization devoted to feminist scholarship and to the field of women’s and gender studies.  

In related news, Associate Professor Ramesh Raina and Professor Peter Vanable have renewed their appointments as chairs of biology and psychology, respectively; Professor James Kallmerten has been appointed interim chair of chemistry; and Gregg Lambert has stepped down as founding director of the Syracuse University Humanities Center to focus on leading the Central New York Humanities Corridor.  

The College is home to nearly two dozen academic departments and three dozen interdisciplinary programs in the sciences/mathematics, humanities, and social sciences. It is the oldest and largest academic unit on campus, with a national reputation for interdisciplinary teaching, research, service, and enterprise.

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Contact Information

Rob Enslin
315-443-3403
rmenslin@syr.edu