University News

Martinelli-Fernandez Named Interim CAS Dean

June 3, 2009

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MACOMB, IL -- Susan Martinelli-Fernandez, associate dean for research, graduate studies, grants and faculty research and development in the Western Illinois University College of Arts and Sciences (CAS), has been appointed interim CAS dean, effective July 1, according to WIU Provost and Academic Vice President Jack Thomas.

Martinelli-Fernandez has served as associate dean since 2005. She will serve in the interim position until a permanent dean is hired to replace Inessa Levi, who has accepted a position as provost and vice president for academic affairs at Columbus State University.

Prior to being named associate dean, Martinelli-Fernandez served as a professor in the department of philosophy and religious studies. She has been at Western since 1993.

"Dr. Martinelli-Fernandez has served on numerous University committees and has vast experience in curriculum development, graduate education, grants, Honors programming and personnel," Thomas said. "Her appointment as interim dean provides continuity and strong leadership through this transitional period as the University searches for a new CAS dean."

Martinelli-Fernandez has served as the chair and co-organizer of CLASS (Celebrating Liberal Arts and Sciences), a College of Arts and Sciences awareness committee. Under her leadership the group organized, and she moderated, the first panel discussion of the Dialogue series in which University and community leaders are brought together to discuss democracy and education.

Martinelli-Fernandez has served as interim associate director of Western's Centennial Honors College and, with Martin Dupuis, then interim director of the Honors College, co-designed Western's First Year Experience (FYE) initiative pilot program in the Honors College. FYE, a program designed to assist students transitioning from high school to college, became a part of Western's general education curriculum in May 2005.

In Spring 2005, Martinelli-Fernandez received the College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Faculty Award for Teaching and was inducted into Western's chapter of Phi Kappa Phi honor society. She is also a member of Delta Kappa Gamma Society International and is an honorary faculty member of Western's Golden Key Honour Society.

Martinelli-Fernandez has also served as co-director of Western's Program for the Study of Ethics and an executive board member of the International Society of Ethics Across the Curriculum. She earned her master's degree in social sciences and her Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Chicago.

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