Dear Colleagues,

I am delighted to make the following three announcements. 

First, Ricardo “Rico” Reyes is the new director of art galleries and curator of art collections.

Rico has 25 years of experience in the arts from curating and exhibitions programming, to fundraising and development, to managing a public-facing unit. Previously, as director and curator of art galleries at the University of Hartford, he administered programs, exhibitions, and events for two galleries, a print study center, and the 17 public sculptures on campus. He also managed a collection of nearly 3,500 objects, comprising paintings, sculptures, ceramics, photographs, and prints. An artist himself, Rico earned a BA in sculpture (Berkeley). He holds an MFA (UCLA), an executive MBA (Quantic School of Business and Technology), and a Ph.D. in cultural studies (Goldsmiths College, University of London). His work with the Filipino-American community is impressive, and he was part of Artists of Color Unite, an advisory group for the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving. 

As many of you know, Michiko Okaya retired in February 2020, and since “retiring” she has provided continuity, especially in planning exhibitions for this academic year. We remain deeply grateful for her commitment and contributions to the College and Lafayette’s galleries and collections.

Ricardo Reyes reports to Markus Dubischar, dean of the curriculum. 

Wendy Hill, Rappolt Professor Emeritus of Neuroscience and visiting professor of neuroscience, will serve as co-director of the Hanson Center for Inclusive STEM Education and Studies. In this role, she will partner with co-director Jenn Rossmann, Baird Professor of Mechanical Engineering, in advancing the mission of the Hanson Center to enhance inclusion and equity in the STEM fields and foster research in STEM studies.

Prof. Hill served previously as our provost and dean of the faculty during which time she helped the College secure an HHMI grant that strengthened teaching and research in the life sciences and developed programs to support students from historically underrepresented and marginalized groups. She served as the liaison to the Posse Foundation and was actively involved in selecting and supporting Posse Scholars and mentors. Wendy led the Campus Climate Working Group that conducted an extensive study of students, faculty, staff, and administrators and used the findings to implement action steps to make Lafayette a more welcoming and equitable environment. She was the founding chair of the Neuroscience Program and created the LEARN Program that pairs students with alumni neuroscientists at universities to provide summer research opportunities. She initiated the first Patriot League academic conference on STEM education to foster collaboration among colleges and faculty from nine institutions. Wendy also has organized conferences and workshops that have brought together faculty and administrators from higher education and primary and secondary schools along with corporate and nonprofit leaders to work collaboratively to promote inclusion, equity, and justice in STEM.

The co-directors of the Hanson Center report to Jamila Bookwala, dean of the faculty. 

Kathy Griggs joins the Provost’s Office as the incoming executive assistant to the provost. Kathy has nearly 20 years of experience working in education. She previously managed marketing, outreach, and fundraising for the former Shawnee Academy and The Beacon School, a school conglomerate focused on special education and alternative education. For the past nine years she served as executive assistant to the head of school at Blair Academy, a college preparatory boarding high school in Blairstown, N.J., where she managed projects and special events for the head of school. She is a cum laude graduate of East Stroudsburg University. With a passion for the arts, she has volunteered and served on the boards of various nonprofit community programs.

Kathy will be primarily responsible for the management of faculty personnel processes, including working with the Promotion, Tenure, and Review Committee. She also supports the Educational Policy Committee of the Board of Trustees.

She reports to the provost.

Please join me in welcoming these wonderful new colleagues in the academic division.

John Meier, Provost

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