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Mount Union Announces Three-College Structure and Founding Deans

March 21, 2019

ALLIANCE, Ohio — Adapting to the growth and success of its academic offering and the ever-changing landscape of higher education, the University of Mount Union is reorganizing its academic structure into three colleges within the institution.

The College of Applied and Social Sciences, College of Arts and Humanities and College of Natural and Health Sciences will begin to be implemented July 1, 2019 when the recently hired founding deans arrive at Mount Union. 

“This new institutional structure has been designed to enable a small but multifaceted university to meet emerging student needs and expectations,” said Dr. Jeffrey Breese, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the University at Mount Union. “Because of Mount Union’s small scale, yet great complexity and range of degree programs, the institution is much better positioned to be creative about the synergies between undergraduate and graduate education than are most other institutions of any size.”

Dr. Kristine Still, currently the associate dean for student services and external relations in the College of Education and Human Services at Cleveland State University (CSU), will be the founding dean of the College of Applied and Social Sciences.

In her current role at CSU, Still oversees the College’s Advising Office as well as the Office of Field Services. Additionally, she directs all the College’s external reporting efforts, scholarship, recruitment and retention initiatives. 

Prior to joining CSU, Still taught in the Jackson Local School District. She earned her B.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Akron and an M.A. from Walsh University.

Dr. Heather Duda, who is currently the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Rio Grande/Rio Grande Community College, has been named the founding dean for the College of Arts and Humanities. 

Duda began her tenure at Rio Grande as a faculty member in its English program in 2007. She has taught a variety of courses in composition, film, and literature. Her first publication was the book The Monster Hunter in Modern Popular Culture, and at the 2018 Midwest Popular Culture/American Culture Association Conference, she presented “Saying It All with a Look (and a Voiceover): Adapting the Internal Monologue in Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and Alias Grace.”

Duda earned a B.A. degree from Lycoming College, an M.A. from the University of Maryland College Park and a Ph.D. from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. 

Dr. Sandra Madar will be the founding dean of the College of Natural and Health Sciences. She is currently a professor of biology and biomedical humanities, and the director of strategic academic initiatives at Hiram College.

Madar co-founded Hiram’s signature biomedical humanities major, the first undergraduate major of its kind in the U.S., which remains one of the College’s five largest academic programs. At Hiram, she has also served as associate academic dean and interim vice president and academic dean and has oversight of Hiram’s Centers of Distinction. 

Madar earned her B.S. degrees in both anthropology and zoology from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences from Kent State University at the Northeast Ohio Medical University.