Academic affairs office reorganized

As Mercyhurst College continues a growth pattern that started 20 years ago, the administrative burden on top officials has grown along with the college’s enrollment. It is for that reason that the college expanded the office of the academic dean, naming Thomas Gamble, Ph.D., vice president of academic affairs in July, and flanking him with three associate vice presidents: Barbara Behan ’64, Ph.D., associate vice president for academic services; Heidi Hosey, Ph.D., associate vice president for instruction and assessment; and Mary Breckenridge, D.Ed., associate vice president for adult and graduate programs.

Together, the four will oversee various facets of the college’s academic component.

As vice president of academic affairs, Gamble coordinates the efforts of the rest of the team and the division chairs, oversees specialty institutes on campus, supervises the academic budget, sets the core curriculum, directs new program development and handles faculty hiring, promotion, tenure, and contracts.

Gamble, former director of the Mercyhurst College Civic Institute and an associate professor of criminal justice and psychology at the college, replaced Dr. Andrew Roth, who left Mercyhurst to assume the presidency of Notre Dame College of Ohio.

A graduate of Gannon University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy, Gamble received his master’s and doctorate in psychology from Syracuse University. He is also a doctoral graduate of the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse. Following graduate studies, he was awarded a fellowship in child psychology at Yale University, graduating from the post-doctoral program of the Yale Bush Center for Child Development and Social Policy.

Gamble joined Mercyhurst College in 1997 after a 13-year career with the Erie County child welfare and juvenile justice systems. His leadership of the Civic Institute made it a valuable community resource and one of Mercyhurst’s signature contributions to community service.

Behan was promoted from her most recent position as director of the mathematics/ computer systems department and professor of computer systems. Among her responsibilities as associate vice president for academic services are institutional research, academic scheduling, the registration process, instructional technology, academic student appeals and the library.

Behan joined the Mercyhurst community in 1985 as an assistant professor in the mathematics and computer systems department, where she worked through the ranks to become department director in 1992. After serving as the head of the mathematics and computer systems department until 1998, she served as division chair for the natural science and mathematics division from 1998 to 2000.

Behan served as president of the Mercyhurst faculty senate (2001-2002), has participated in numerous committees, and was honored with the college’s teaching excellence award in 1999. In addition, Behan is on the board of directors for Hooked on Books.

After earning her bachelor of arts degree from Mercyhurst College, Behan earned a master of engineering degree in engineering science from Pennsylvania State University, a master of business administration from Gannon University and her doctoral degree in higher education administration from the University of Pittsburgh.

Hosey, who was promoted from her position as director of the English department and professor of English, will handle the assignment of associate vice president for instruction and assessment. Among her responsibilities are faculty hiring and orientation, academic policies, instructional assessment, coordination of program review, faculty development, faculty research and academic advising.

Hosey joined Mercyhurst in 1988 as director of basic writing, and has been instrumental in the English department since her arrival. She has served as an instructor, assistant, associate and full professor of English during her tenure, and has been director of the English department since 1997.

Since arriving at Mercyhurst, Hosey has been active on several committees, including the faculty policies and the rank and tenure committees. She also worked extensively on the Middle States reaccredidation project just completed by the college.

After earning her bachelor of arts in English from Villa Maria College, Hosey earned her master of arts in English from Gannon University and her doctoral degree in literary theory and criticism from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. In addition, in June 2003, Hosey completed the prestigious Management Development Program at Harvard University. She was honored in 2001 with the Mercyhurst teaching excellence award.

Breckenridge, who was appointed associate dean for Graduate Programs and Academic Services in September 2002, will now assume the role of associate vice president for adult and graduate programs. Among her responsibilities are the graduate programs, the adult college, Fresh Start and freshman convocation, service learning, the college’s summer session and the academic calendar.

Breckenridge joined the Mercyhurst community in 1995 as an academic adviser in the adult college program where she provided career and academic counseling for non-traditional students. That move was characteristic of her career, which has been spent working in higher education.

Breckenridge worked as a career counselor, curriculum supervisor and instructor while living in the United States and Germany, and taught for two years at the Study Skills Center at the United States Military Academy in West Point, N.Y.

After earning her bachelor of arts degree in political science from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Va., Breckenridge earned her master of science degree in education and a certificate of advanced achievement in adult education and counseling from the University of Southern California. She also has a secondary teaching certificate in five social science areas. In 2000, Breckenridge earned her doctorate degree in education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
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