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Davis named vice president and dean for academic affairs at Olivet College
Mar 16, 2010

Maria Davis, Ph.D., has been named vice president and dean for academic affairs at Olivet College, according to an announcement by President Don Tuski, Ph.D. She begins her new position July 1. Davis replaces Norma Curtis, who was recently named dean of graduate programs and assessment and chair of the Education Department at Olivet.

Dr. Davis was selected through a national search and with great support from the campus community, Tuski said. Her leadership, energy and commitment to excellence in education will serve Olivet very well. I am very excited about her selection.

Davis previously served the college as chair of the Natural and Physical Sciences Department and professor of biology. A longtime educator, she has been part of the Olivet faculty since 1994. Her academic concentration has included biostatistics, introductory biology and numerous organismal biology classes. She also has prior teaching experience at Michigan State and Spring Arbor universities, and is a regular presenter at local school science fairs.

In her new role, Davis will oversee all academic objectives for the college. Her responsibilities include curriculum development and faculty evaluation; managing the colleges accreditation process; and advising on student retention; as well as a broad range of administrative duties.

It is an honor to be chosen to help shepherd the academic programs of this outstanding institution, Davis said. I am excited about the opportunity to serve the students and faculty of Olivet College in a new way.

In 2007, Davis received Olivets distinguished Livingston Professorship award. It is the highest teaching honor awarded to a full-time, tenured faculty member of the college. She was recognized for sustaining engagement of students in the learning process; creating a classroom environment that is characterized by enthusiasm for learning and high expectations; and modeling life-long learning through continuous professional growth and development.

Davis earned a bachelors degree in biology from Siena Heights College, a masters degree in biology from Bowling Green State University in Ohio, and a doctorate in entomology from Michigan State University. She is a resident of Charlotte.

Curtis has worked at Olivet College since 1988. In addition to her duties as vice president and dean for academic affairs, she previously served as registrar and chair of the Education Department, and was instrumental in designing the colleges Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program. In her new role, she will be responsible for strengthening the MAT program and Olivets Master of Business Administration in Insurance program, as well as exploring and developing new graduate degrees. As chair of the Education Department, she will work to further improve the colleges teacher preparation program and serve as liaison to the Michigan Department of Education. She continues to hold the rank of professor of education.

Curtis earned a bachelors degree from Alma College and a masters degree from Michigan State University. She is a recipient of Olivets 1844 Award and has served on the Charlotte School Board, previously as president. She is a resident of Charlotte.


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