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Phyllis Callahan named dean of Miami's College of Arts and Science

12/09/2011

Phyllis Callahan
Phyllis Callahan, professor of zoology, has been named dean of Miami University's College of Arts and Science, effective Jan. 12, 2012. She has served as interim dean since January of this year.

Callahan will continue to provide the academic, scholarly, intellectual and fiscal leadership for the largest division at Miami. The College of Arts and Science encompasses 23 departments and 10 programs and has approximately 500 full-time equivalent faculty, 8,000 undergraduate and 1,000 graduate students.

“The College of Arts and Science (CAS) is the largest academic division at Miami University and plays a critical role in delivering a major portion of our academic programs. An accomplished teacher-scholar, Dean Callahan has a very thorough knowledge of the College, understands the diversity of its programs and the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration. Her proven success as a leader along with a deep commitment to Miami University made her a clear choice to lead the College to continued success,” said Miami Provost Bobby Gempesaw.

In her letter to the search committee Callahan wrote, “I fervently believe the College of Arts and Science offers the breadth and depth of training that is critically important of producing knowledgeable, competent and productive members of society.” She also stated, “We strive to help develop the whole person by offering a diverse, innovative curriculum, opportunities for scholarship and research, and instilling in our students a sense of service and responsibility to their community.”

Callahan has taught at Miami since 1988. She is nationally recognized in her field of research, neuroendocrinology, with a focus on gender differences in regulation of pituitary hormone secretion.

She has mentored more than 40 undergraduate students conducting research projects in her lab and has advised many graduate students who now enjoy successful scientific careers. She was named a College of Arts and Science Distinguished Educator for 2001-2002.

Callahan and Joyce Fernandes, associate professor of zoology, are co-leading an $800,000 five-year National Science Foundation Award in Undergraduate Research and Mentoring through which undergraduate students worked with graduate mentors in about 30 labs from across zoology, botany, microbiology and chemistry and biochemistry. The grant is aimed at increasing the number and diversity of individuals pursuing graduate studies in cell, molecular and structural biology.

She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biological sciences from Fairleigh Dickinson University in 1974 and 1981 respectively, and her doctorate in physiology and neurobiology from Rutgers University in 1986. She was a postdoctoral researcher at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer and the UMDMJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School before joining Miami.

She became associate dean of the College of Arts and Science in 2006 and senior associate dean in 2008.

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