Dr. Cynthia Vascak Named Founding Dean of PSU’s College of Arts and Sciences

January 10th, 2011 by Adam

PLYMOUTH, N.H.-
Dr. Cynthia Vascak, a nationally recognized art educator, scholar, and administrator has been named the founding Dean of Plymouth State University’s College of Arts and Sciences. A long-term PSU faculty member, Vascak has served as chair of the Art Department at PSU and as coordinator of the Art Education program. She has experience with program development, having led initiatives such as the creation of the Master of Art in Teaching (MAT) degree, and received federal funding for arts projects in New Hampshire schools.In 2009 she was honored with PSU’s Distinguished Teaching Award.

Dr. Cynthia Vascak
Dr. Cynthia Vascak. Photo courtesy Achber Studio

Julie Bernier, PSU’s Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, said Vascak’s experience makes her an ideal leader for PSU’s new College of Arts and Sciences.

“Her experience in program development and collaborative initiatives at both the undergraduate and graduate levels will be important as we work to establish the interdisciplinary college,” said Bernier.
Vascak has significant experience in higher education and accreditation, having served as a reviewer for the NH Department of Education and as a member of the 2003 accreditation team at PSU. Most recently, Dr. Vascak was selected to participate in a yearlong think tank where New England academic leaders came together to discuss issues of importance. Vascak said the creation of the College of Arts and Sciences is a natural progression for the University, and the College will play an important role.

“As we continue our journey into the 21st Century, we face increasingly complex and interrelated challenges from local to global that impact our health and well being, careers, workplaces, families and the very future of our planet,” said Vascak. “These challenges are escalating – not diminishing – and they demand responses from researchers, citizens, and educators. The College of Arts and Sciences will be in a pivotal position to take a leadership role in navigating this journey.”

Vascak is a leader who works across academic fields and has developed innovative partnerships across the state. On campus she chairs the Education subcommittee of the President’s Commission on Environmental Sustainability and is a member of the Research Advisory Council. She has engaged community partners in developing large-scale projects, most notably a four-year Federal Department of Education grant that involved 25 educators in three school districts, for which she served as director.

Vascak earned a bachelor’s degree in literature and studio art from Pan American University, a master of fine arts from Boston University, and a doctorate from the University of New Hampshire. In addition, she has studied fine arts at the Boston Museum School, Concordia University, the University of Quebec, and the Escuela Belles Artes in San Miguel d’Allende, Mexico. She is a member of the Cape Cod Printmakers, Monotype Guild of New England, Women’s Caucus for Art, and Society of Egg Tempera Painters. She currently works in the printing processes of monotype, relief, and drypoint; in the drawing media of charcoal, ink, and silverpoint; and in the media of egg tempera. She has won national awards for her prints, and her works are held in numerous private collections. In addition to her work as a studio artist and art educator, Vascak’s scholarship involves interdisciplinary curriculum design and implementation, action agency and service learning, and transformational leadership.

The College of Arts and Sciences will be home to the arts, the humanities, mathematics, and the natural, physical, social, behavioral, and computer sciences. As dean, Vascak will encourage cross-disciplinary collaboration and support students and faculty in their outreach and research efforts and in development of partnerships with the wider community and state.

For more information about this release, contact Bruce Lyndes, PSU Media Relations Mgr., (603) 535-2775 or blyndes@plymouth.edu

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