University Names New Dean of CAS

    Michelle Gonzalez Maldonado, Ph.D., was named dean of The University of Scranton’s College of Arts and Sciences, effective July 1, 2020.
    January 7, 2020

    University of Scranton President Rev. Scott R. Pilarz, S.J., announced the appointment of Michelle Gonzalez Maldonado, Ph.D., as dean of the University’s College of Arts and Sciences effective July 1, 2020.

    Since 2014, Dr. Maldonado has served as assistant provost of undergraduate education at the University of Miami, where she has also served since 2016 as the executive director of the Office of Academic Enhancement and as a professor of religious studies. She joined the faculty at the University of Miami in 2006.

    “Dr. Maldonado’s leadership experience in working with academic deans, faculty, students and professional advisors, complemented by her dedication and care of historically underrepresented and first-generation college students, will make her a great asset at Scranton,” said Father Pilarz in an announcement sent to the University community. “Additionally, her education and career display a deep appreciation for the Catholic and Jesuit mission that is central to our work together.”

    At Scranton, Dr. Maldonado will oversee the University’s academic departments in the sciences and mathematics, engineering and computing sciences, humanities, theology and social sciences, as well as the Special Jesuit Liberal Arts Honors Program, the Magis Honors Program in STEM and the University’s undergraduate Honors Program and the pre-med and pre-law programs.

    As assistant provost of undergraduate education at Miami, Dr. Maldonado’s areas of responsibilities include managing an undergraduate advisor consortium of professional academic advisors representing Miami’s nine schools and colleges, as well as collaborating with the academic deans of each school and college. In that role, she also implemented substantial revisions to Miami’s general education requirements and worked with their Enrollment Management division on recruitment strategies with an emphasis on historically underrepresented and first-generation students, among other duties.

    As executive director of the Office of Academic Enhancement, she supports underrepresented, first-generation and high-achieving students, a role that includes overseeing the Prestigious Award and Fellowship Division, The Foote Fellow Honors Program, the Programs of Academic Excellence and the Residential College Advising program. She also created the Division for First Generation Students.

    In addition, she served on a number of committees at Miami, including the Curriculum Committee, the International Student Task Force, and the Civic Engagement Task Force, among others.

    As a scholar of religious studies, Dr. Maldonado’s areas of specialization include Latino/a and Latin American theology; Afro-Caribbean and Latino/a studies; U.S. minority, Third World and feminist theologies; and constructive and cultural theologies. She is the editor, co-author or author of 10 books and has published more than 40 articles in academic journals and book chapters. She has also presented at 85 academic conferences and meetings and contributed more than a dozen book reviews. She has also written a number of articles for the National Catholic Reporter.

    Dr. Maldonado has received multiple honors and awards during her career, including the Alumni of the Year award from the Graduate Theological Union, the 2008 Catholic Press Association Book Award for Second Place in Gender Issues for her book “Created in God’s Image,” and a 2004 Catholic Press Association Book Award and a 2004 Hispanic Theological Initiative Book Prize for her first book “Sor Juana: Beauty and Justice in the Americas.” At the University of Miami, she was named a Gabelli Scholar (2012-2014) and a Civic Engagement Fellow (2012-2013).

    Dr. Maldonado is a member of the American Academy of Religion, where she currently serves on its American Lectures in the History of Religion Committee; the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians in the United States, where she served as president for 2009-2010; and the Catholic Theological Society of America.

    Previously, Dr. Maldonado served as a theologian-in-residence at San Lucas Toliman Mission in Guatemala from 2004-2006, and as an assistant professor of theological studies at Loyola Marymount University from 2001-2005.

    Dr. Maldonado earned her bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University; her master’s degree from the Union Theology Seminary and her Ph.D. from the Graduate Theological Union.

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