Newsroom Blog

College of Arts & Sciences Names Two New Department Chairs and a New MALS Director

Apr 24 2015

Dean Dr. Nasser Momayezi is pleased to announce two new department chairs and a new director of the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS) program, who will be assuming their respective duties effective July 1.

After five years as the Chair of the Department of Humanities, Dr. E. Joseph (Joe) Johnson will resume full-time faculty status and devote his time to his research and teaching at the end of the fiscal year. Dr. Johnson did an admirable job as chair of one of the most diverse and service-oriented departments in the College of Arts & Sciences. He collaborated well with his colleagues and created an atmosphere which fostered collegiality and professionalism. Dr. Adam Tate, professor of History, will become the new Humanities chair. A native of New Orleans, Dr. Tate attended the University of Alabama and earned an M.A. (1996) and Ph.D. (2001) in early American history, with a focus on the history of the American South, and he is an active scholar with numerous publications on the same topics, an excellent teacher, and universally liked. He is in his 11th year as a faculty member at Clayton State, having formerly served as the director of the University’s Honors Program from 2007-2013.

The Department of Natural Sciences, which the largest department on campus with 29 full-time faculty scattered among three (soon to be four) different buildings, will be divided into two departments. Dr. Michelle Furlong, who has adroitly and admirably administered Natural Sciences for the past several years, will now assume leadership of the new Department of Biology, while Dr. Patricia Todebush will become the first chair of the Department of Chemistry and Physics. Dr. Todebush earned her Ph.D. from the University of Georgia in 2000 in the area of Physical Chemistry. She joined the Clayton State faculty in 2004, after serving as director of General Chemistry Laboratories at Northwestern University. A recipient of the coveted Alice Smith Award in 2008 and a Governor’s Teaching Fellow in 2011, Dr. Todebush is excited to continue serving in this new capacity.

Dr. Susan Copeland, professor of English, will become the Director of Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS) program, effective July 1 as well. The University’s first graduate degree program, MALS is also the largest within the College of Arts & Sciences. Dr. Copeland has been involved in the program since its establishment in 2006, as one of the original faculty members who developed this degree, and she has regularly taught graduate courses since then, generating nearly 200 student credit hours and directing several M.A. theses. Officially housed within the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies, MALS has been administered in the Dean’s Office since July 2012. Since that time, the program has grown nearly threefold and added a concentration in Criminology, with concentrations in African American Studies, Math and Philosophy on the horizon.

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