Syracuse University

SU News

Graduate School appoints two associate deans focused on graduate student recruitment and retention, and preparation of underrepresented students

May 27, 2008

Cynthia J. Moritz
315 443 9039

Cynthia J. Moritz

To better address University-wide needs in the areas of graduate recruitment, graduate retention and preparation of underrepresented minority groups for graduate study, the Graduate School -- in partnership with the Division of Enrollment Management and the Office of the Provost -- has created two new associate dean positions.

Patricia Stith, assistant provost for equity and inclusion and associate dean of the Graduate School, will work to establish best practices and procedures to support student success for all graduate students across the University, with a special focus on underrepresented minority doctoral students. She will also provide expertise on best practices in minority student recruitment and retention to various academic programs. Stith has assumed her new position.

Eileen Strempel, associate professor of fine arts and formerly director of strategic planning in The College of Arts and Sciences and artistic director of Pulse, will also serve as an associate dean and will coordinate with Enrollment Management all graduate recruiting efforts, working with individual schools, colleges and departments. She will also coordinate the AGAP, C-STEP, L-SAMP and McNair sponsored programs that primarily serve underrepresented minority graduate students and students preparing for graduate study. Strempel will begin her new position June 1.

"These complementary appointments signal the elevated priority that we've assigned to diversifying the graduate student body at SU," says Vice Chancellor and Provost Eric F. Spina. "I know that Doctors Strempel and Stith have the right combination of experiences to enable them to work collaboratively with the deans and faculty in putting the pieces of the pathway together that will bring us more graduate students of the highest caliber."

Stith has served as project manager for the Central New York Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (CNY-PR AGEP). Before coming to SU, she was director of retention studies at Florida State University (FSU), a position she held for 17 years. There, she coordinated national science projects, including the Florida-Georgia Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (FGLSAMP) and one of the first LSAMP Bridge to the Doctorate programs. For more than 10 years, she was co-principal investigator for the Office of Naval Research Programs in Environmental Numerical Modeling Support for Underrepresented Groups.

In addition to federal sponsored programs, she worked with the State of Florida and private donors to attract scholarships for talented underrepresented minorities. She served as program director for students in the Minority Scholars Program, which was funded by the State of Florida and served high-achieving students. She also directed the Jim Moran Institute Scholars Program and the Black Graduate Student Orientation Program, also funded by the State of Florida.

Stith has served as a mentor for talented students throughout her career. She has helped hundreds of students prepare and complete both undergraduate and graduate degrees. She has also worked with academic departments to develop and carry out systematic approaches to increase overall student completion rates.

Stith holds a bachelor's degree in history from Norfolk State College, master's degrees in history from Carnegie-Mellon University and instructional technology from SU, and a Ph.D. in instructional systems from FSU.

Strempel joined SU in 1998, just after receiving her Doctor of Music degree from Indiana University. Her dissertation, "The Gendered Salon in Late 19th-Century Paris: The Works of Marie Grandval," was conceived in conjunction with the compact disc that combined her research and performance interests, "With All My Soul," on the Orchard label. She has won several international vocal competition awards and is a Presidential Scholar in the Arts, and was named by the Syracuse Campus-Community Entrepreneurship Initiative (Enitiative) as an Enitiative eProfessor for 2007-09.

A noted scholar of song literature, Strempel has written numerous articles and reviews for The Journal of Singing, the Classical Singer; the Reader's Guide to Music: History, Criticism, and Theory; the Journal of Singing; The Chronicle of Higher Education; Women and Music: A Journal of Gender and Culture; and American Music Teacher.

Recent News