Munro-Stasiuk appointed first woman dean of the College of Arts and Sciences

Katherine Masko, Reporter

The College of Arts and Sciences made history by promoting the first-ever female dean during Women’s History Month.

“It feels a little historical,” said Mandy Munro-Stasiuk, the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “There hasn’t been a single female dean in this college, there hasn’t been a single [female] interim dean of this college, … so I think it’s important.”

Mandy Munro-Stasiuk is the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Kent State University.

The College of Arts and Sciences houses 4,576 students in academic programs and degrees within the disciplines of humanities and social, natural and mathematical sciences.

Munro-Stasiuk is able to connect and understand most students due to her degrees in geography, archaeology and earth and atmospheric sciences. She conducted research that compared geomorphology, the study of landforms and their processes, with its impacts on genocide.

“I am uniquely positioned to understand how the humanities work, how social sciences work and how the sciences work,” she said. “That’s pretty unusual to get someone that is able to do all three of those things.”

Her diverse background puts her in a position where she can easily communicate with students, faculty and staff to make a difference.

“I don’t know a single student, especially the undergraduate level, that is going to come to Kent State and not have to take classes in the College of Arts and Sciences,” she said. “We have the biggest impact on students to make sure they have a liberal studies background.”

Liberal arts education allows students to learn communication skills, critical and creative thinking, analytical reasoning and research, according to Best Colleges.

Research is important at Kent State due to receiving the highest research status a university can receive on the doctoral level, R1 research status.

“A lot of that came from the work of all the amazing faculty in arts and sciences, we account for 75 percent of the research that occurs on campus,” she said. “We have to make sure that those particular programs and those faculty have funding in order to make all of these things continue.”

During her two-year term as interim dean, Munro-Stasiuk started multiple programs and is excited to continue working on them.

“One of the programs that we have in [the School of Multidisciplinary Social Sciences and Humanities] is the Bachelor of Integrative Studies,” she said.

This degree is for students that have college credit that does not qualify them to graduate in their current degree program. It combines acquired college credit with degree requirements in order to have students graduate in a timely manner with a college degree.

“We use that program to reach out to students who left and didn’t finish,” she said.

With this program, they plan to reach out to all of Northeast Ohio to allow students that were not able to finish their degrees at other universities to come to Kent State and finish their program.

“The potential is enormous,” she said. “All these students are sitting out there with all this credit that they can’t use towards anything. We can get them [graduated].”

Another program that she started and will be continuing to implement is a peer-to-peer support program for the college.

Melody Tankersley is the provost at Kent State University. (Courtesy of Kent State University)

“[This year], we offered it to all of our incoming freshmen, more than 50% of them signed up,” she said.

Melody Tankersley, Kent State’s Provost, said Munro-Stasiuk is an incredible leader that listens.

“Mandy’s focus is always on the students,” Tankersley said. “She’s always working towards yes, slow to say no, wants to get a win for people and her first response out of the gate is ‘let’s see how we can do that.’”

Munro-Stasiuk said this attitude comes from having a lot of trust in people and their ideas.

“​​I want to give them my bandwidth in order to hear them out, to hear what the ideas are,” Munro-Stasiuk said. “I want to be able to give everybody the latitude that they deserve to share really good ideas.”

Katherine Masko is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected].