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College Announces New Department Chairs

Changes mark continued commitment to the College as the academic heart of the University

Oct 17, 2017 — Article by: Amy Manley

Hall of Languages, fall

The College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) has announced the appointment of 4 new department chairs for the 2017-2018 academic year.  They are Amy Criss, Professor of Psychology; Mark Heller, Professor of Philosophy; and Laura Lautz, Professor of Earth Sciences. Gerry Greenberg, Associate Professor of Russian and Linguistics and Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs; Humanities; Curriculum, Instruction, and Programs will step into the Interim chair position for the Department of Women's and Gender Studies. 

Amy Criss

Amy Criss

Amy Criss will lead the department of psychology, succeeding Lawrence J. Lewandowski, professor and co-director of clinical training in the school psychology program. Criss’ research is based in memory and cognitive science. More specifically, her investigations include building of computational models to mimic the human memory system to better understand how we store and recover memories.  She is also the director the Memory Modeling Lab, or MeMo Lab, which conducts independent research projects combining behavioral experiments, computational modeling, and neurophysiological measures to understand episodic memory. 

Photo of Mark Heller

Mark Heller

After 5 years of service, Ben Bradley, the Allan and Anita Sutton Professor of Philosophy, will hand the chairing duties over to his colleague, professor Hark Heller. Immersed in the philosophical study of the nature of existence and reality, Heller completed his Ph.D at Syracuse University before teaching at Southern Methodist University and Northern Illinois University. In 2013, Heller was named a William P. Tolley Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Humanities, one of the College’s highest honors. 

Photo of Laura Lautz

Laura Lautz

Laura Lautz, the Jessie Page Heroy Professor will move into the position of Earth Sciences department chair, following Donald Siegel, the Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professor of Earth Sciences. An acclaimed hydrologist, Lautz’s research focuses on the physical hydrologic processes that influence water quality and its movement through watersheds. She is also the director and principal investigator with the Education Model Program on Water-Energy Research, or EMPOWER. EMPOWER is a National Science Foundation funded program that prepares students with the technical knowledge and professional skills needed to compete for careers in energy, environmental consulting, government, nonprofits, academia, and beyond. 

Photo of Gerry Greenberg, headshot

Gerry Greenberg

Gerry Greenberg, Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Arts and Sciences will take the helm of the Women’s and Genders Studies (WGS) department as Interim Chair beginning this semester. His appointment follows in the footsteps of former chair, and distinguished professor of Sociology and the Cultural Foundations of Education, Chandra Talpade Mohanty. A fierce advocate for the liberal arts, Greenberg has served in many roles at the College, including former chair of the departments of English, Religion and Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics (LLL). He is also an associate professor of Russian and Linguistics, earning his Ph.D. in Slavic Linguistics from Cornell University. 

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Amy Manley