Meet the Associate Deans
Associate Dean for Administration
428 Thomas Building
Teresa Davis is the associate dean of administration. In this role she oversees information technology, facilities, marketing, outreach, and a number of budget and leadership related processes for the college. Areas of focus include planning for renovations on our instructional laboratories, restructuring and re-visioning the outreach efforts of the college, and a number of budget-reduction and process-improvement related initiatives.
Associate Dean for Graduate Education
219 Mueller Laboratory
Charles Fisher, professor of biology, is the associate dean for graduate education. In addition to overseeing enhancement of the graduate programs in the college, Fisher works closely with the Office of Diversity Initiatives and Multicultural Programs, the College Climate and Diversity Committee, and the departmental associate heads for equity to foster a positive climate for all members of the college. Fisher’s goals as associate dean include working with graduate students and faculty in the college to improve graduate student mentoring and training for the full suite of jobs that our graduate students will compete for. He also supports initiatives to increase the diversity and gender balance of our graduate student population and faculty.
Fisher has been a faculty member in biology since 1990, where he maintains an active deep-sea biology research program and team. He served as assistant department head for graduate education in biology from 1998-2009 and from 2011-2014, and as assistant department head for equity and diversity from 2010-2014. In 2009-2010, Fisher served as the acting associate dean for research in the college, and from 2013-2014 as interim associate dean for strategic planning. He received his B.S. in biology from Michigan State in 1976 and his M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Barbara, in 1981 and 1985, respectively. He remained with the Marine Science Institute at UCSB, first as a post doc, and then as an assistant research biologist, until coming to Penn State.
Associate Dean for Research and Innovation
517 Thomas Building
Andrew Stephenson, Distinguished Professor of Biology, is the associate dean for research and innovation. In this position, Stephenson is responsible for supervision of the college research administration office and service on several University councils and committees.
Some of Stephenson’s goals for the position include further expanding and strengthening the mentoring of our new faculty and further enhancing the instrumentation and infrastructure of the college so that we can continue to perform world-class research that makes a real and positive difference in the world. Stephenson has been a faculty member in biology at Penn State since 1978. Stephenson earned his Ph.D. and M.S. degrees at the University of Michigan in 1978 and 1976, respectively. He earned a B.A. degree at the Miami University in Ohio in 1973.
Mary Beth Williams
Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education
428 Thomas Building
Mary Beth Williams, associate professor of chemistry, is the associate dean for undergraduate education. This position is responsible for a number of critical programs and processes in the college, including: supervision of the undergraduate programs, oversight of the non-departmental degree programs, undergraduate retention, support the Center for Excellence in Science Education, oversight of FTCAP – evaluation of testing effectiveness and program planning and administration, and fostering and supporting undergraduate research.
Williams’ primary goals are to ensure and enable the academic success of undergraduate students, and to maintain the standard of excellence that the college has in its academic programs. She is working to use assessment data to drive continuous improvement of teaching and learning in the college and to enhance advising and the student experience. She strives to recognize and reward faculty for excellence in the classroom, and provide them with assistance and support to improve existing or try new and innovative teaching methodologies via the Center for Excellence in Science Education. A few of Williams’ current initiatives include creating methods for improving student retention within science disciplines, developing a career information web-based tool for prospective undergraduate students, and generating and implementing strategies to ensure that all science students gain experience in co-op, internship, and externship programs or study abroad.
Williams earned her Ph.D. at the University of North Carolina, where her thesis work, under the direction of Royce Murray, focused on the electron and mass transport dynamics in hybrid redox polyether melts. Following a post-doctoral research assistantship at Northwestern University, Williams joined the Penn State faculty in the Department of Chemistry in 2001. In addition to her research program, Williams has taught ~ 2500 students in the introductory chemistry course sequence, and served as the chemistry department graduate admissions and recruiting chair. She continues to direct the Chemistry Undergraduate Summer Research Program, with support from the National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduate site and from the 3M Foundation, to bring 20 undergraduates to the department each summer for full time research. In 2009 – 2010, she was the acting associate dean for administration and planning in the college.