Dean Team

COP Dean Team

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Welcome to the New Dean Team

Sep 19, 2012

COP's Learned Leaders

The College of the Pacific's new team of deans brings diverse experiences and studies to The College's administration. Learn more about their background, philosophies and plans for their new appointments.

Dean Gregg Jongeward is The College's Senior Associate Dean. He is primarily responsible for managing student enrollment and facility operations. He has been at Pacific since 1996. Before his current appointment, he served as Co-Chair of the Biological Sciences department.

A key area of focus for him will be building on COP's strengths and raising the profile of its many outstanding departments and programs to prospective students.

"The College offers an unique educational experience for students," Dean Jongeward says. "We have professors, who are well-known and respected in their field of study, teaching in an environment that focuses on student-centered learning. So College students have many opportunities for mentorship and research collaboration with top professors - opportunities they might not easily find in a large university."

In addition to his administrative role, Dean Jongeward will continue his research in developing DNA fingerprinting tools for studies of evolutionary biology and ecology. He believes his skills as a researcher translate well to his new role.

"A lot of what I do will either be in collaboration with one or more of my fellow deans and/or our department chairs," he says. "My approach for any situation is to listen closely to my colleagues, look at the data, and make sure we all ask the right questions to arrive at an optimum solution."

Dean Gesine Gerhard is The College's Associate Dean and Director of Pacific's General Education program. She is responsible for Pacific Seminars and for classes offered in the University's General Education program. She came to Pacific in 1999 with a focus and passion for teaching students about Europe's rich and painful history.

Dean Gerhard grew up in Germany where she not only studied history, she also lived it. She watched the Berlin Wall come down in 1989 and the return of Berlin into a major European metropolis.

"The years in Berlin from 1989 to 1994 were the most exciting years in my life," Dean Gerhard says. "I danced on the wall during those nights in November 1989."

In her classes, Dean Gerhard teaches more than historical facts of a time period. She uses film, music and field trips to make history come alive. In her course History of the Holocaust, for example, she weaves in voices from the Holocaust through speakers, paintings and poems. Her course History Goes to Hollywood looks at how history is represented in film and pop culture.

It's with this same enthusiasm and outside the box approach that Dean Gerhard hopes to further strengthen Pacific's stellar General Education program and Pacific Seminars.  

"I want to see all students leave Pacific with a strong foundation in the liberal arts," she says. "The skills they will learn in their General Education classes will expand their knowledge and prepare them for their future workplace - wherever that might be."

Dean Marcia Hernandez is The College's Assistant Dean. She works closely with the Senior Associate Dean in attending to the daily operations of The College's Academic Affairs office. Dean Hernandez came to Pacific in 2005. She has taught courses in the Sociology Department, Ethnic Studies Program, Gender Studies Program, Jacoby Center for Public Service and Civic Leadership, Pacific Seminars as well as the Benerd School of Education.

Among her responsibilities, Dean Hernandez assists with orientations for first-year and transfer students, faculty development, advising, and overseeing the Faye and Alex Spanos Award for Distinguished Teaching and the Stephen E. Corson Award for the Distinguished Teaching of First Year Students Award.

"The practices and values that easily carry over from teaching and research into my current role as Assistant Dean are empathy, collaboration and patience," Dean Hernandez says. "In particular, when it comes to my role supporting first-year and transfer students, it's critical to make sure they are exposed to the many opportunities for learning and growth that we provide at Pacific. "

In addition to her administrative responsibilities, Dean Hernandez will continue her research about African-American women in higher education and the media as well as her role as co-principal investigator on the Partnership for Assessment of Communities (PAC). The primary goal of PAC is to examine quality of life issues in the San Joaquin Valley.

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