Dean Elaine Leeder to Retire in June

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Dean of the School of Social Sciences Elaine Leeder will be retiring in June, 2013. Provost Andrew Rogerson said “SSU will miss her vision and leadership.“ In recognition of exemplary services to SSU, Dean Leeder will be appointed Dean of Social Sciences Emerita. Leeder came to SSU in 2001 and has served as Dean for the last twelve years.

She will return as a FERP faculty member in Spring, 2014 after spending a Semester at Sea in the Fall of 2013.

Leeder is responsible for the production of the Arthur and Erna Salm Holocaust and Genocide Memorial grove, and was instrumental in obtaining the Anne Frank Tree sapling, which will be planted this April on campus.

She also helped obtain the endowment for the Andrea Neves/ Barton Evans Social Justice Lecture Series, which has brought Jonathan Kozol, Jamaica Kincaid, Morris Dees, Cornell West and Lani Guinier to campus.

Among her many achievements Leeder has promoted interdisciplinary teaching in her School, funded summer research grants for the last twelve years, helped launch the Sophomore Year Experience, which will be piloted in the Fall of 2013, and addressed diversity on campus by serving as chair of the President’s Diversity Committee and mentoring underrepresented students. Most recently, she has established a GE advising center in the School.

Dean Leeder continued to teach Introduction to Sociology to 220 students every semester, while writing three books and serving as dean.

Effective July 1, 2013, Professor John Wingard will assume the position of Interim Dean of the School of Social Sciences. Since 2001, Wingard has been on the faculty of the Department of Anthropology where he currently serves as department Chair. He also served as department chair from 2005 to 2008 and Chair of the Faculty from 2010 to 2011.

Prior to coming to the University, he was an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Memphis for 5 years. Before that, he worked in the private and public sectors for over a decade including eight years in the Federal government with the Foreign Agricultural Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

He received his bachelor’s degree and Ph.D. in anthropology and a master’s degree in agricultural economics from Penn State University. He also holds a master’s degree in anthropology from the University of Oregon.