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St. John’s Appoints Deans for Three Key Areas

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

In pursuit of continued academic excellence and student success, St. John’s has appointed three respected scholars with extensive records of leadership in higher education to head major divisions of the University.

All three began their tenure as deans this summer: Katia Passerini, Ph.D., in the College of Professional Studies (CPS); Norean R. Sharpe, Ph.D., in The Peter J. Tobin College of Business; and Valeda F. Dent, Ph.D., in University Libraries.

“We are delighted that these three truly outstanding academic leaders have joined our University,” noted Robert A. Mangione, Ed.D., R.Ph., Provost. “Drs. Passerini, Sharpe, and Dent are nationally recognized teachers, scholars, and leaders in their fields.”

Before her appointment as Dean of CPS, Dr. Katia Passerini served as Hurlburt Chair and Professor of Management Information Systems at the Martin Tuchman School of Management, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), and Dean of the Albert Dorman Honors College at NJIT.

“It’s wonderful to join CPS and become part of the dedicated team that has made the College shine throughout the years,” said Dr. Passerini, who is also a Professor in the Division of Computer Science, Mathematics, and Science. She earned her Ph.D. in information and decision systems and M.B.A. in international business from The George Washington University; an M.A. in economics from the Universitá degli Studi di Roma “Tor Vergata”; and her B.A. in political science at LUISS University, Italy.

Dr. Norean R. Sharpe comes to the Tobin College from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, where she was Senior Associate Dean and Director of its undergraduate program. Under her leadership, the school expanded student internship, research, and study abroad opportunities through partnerships with for-profit and nonprofit organizations. She also introduced a seminar connecting business education and the liberal arts.

“I’m impressed by the enthusiasm and entrepreneurial spirit of the Tobin College students and faculty,” said Dr. Sharpe, who plans to develop new global opportunities and partnerships for undergraduate and graduate students. She earned her Ph.D. in systems engineering at the University of Virginia; her M.S. in biomathematics at the University of North Carolina; and her B.A. in math and German at Mount Holyoke College.

Dr. Valeda F. Dent, St. John’s new Dean of University Libraries, served as Dean and Chief Operating Officer of University Libraries at Long Island University, where she also was Interim Director of the Palmer School of Library Science. Her specialties include the application of ethnographic research methods in library and information science; qualitative research and the modern library; and rural libraries and literacy acquisition in Africa. With a Ph.D. in information science from Long Island University, Dr. Dent earned an M.S. in library science and an M.S. in social work at the University of Michigan, as well as a B.A. in film studies from Hunter College.

“I’m thrilled to be joining St. John’s at such an exciting time in the institution’s history,” said Dr. Dent. “The academic library continues to be transformed in ways that are innovative, practical, and even disruptive at times. I have every expectation that this growth will place it at the forefront of an emerging library and information landscape.”