BETHLEHEM, Pa., Feb. 21, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Maria Donoghue Velleca, an accomplished neurobiologist who currently serves on the faculty at Georgetown University, has been named the Herbert J. and Ann L. Siegel Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Lehigh University, one of the nation's most distinguished private research universities.
Donoghue Velleca, who during her time at Georgetown served as senior associate dean for faculty affairs and strategic planning at Georgetown College, will assume her new role at Lehigh on June 30.
"Maria is a highly respected researcher, an accomplished administrator and a strong believer in the enduring importance of the arts and sciences," said Lehigh provost Patrick V. Farrell. "In our discussions with her, it quickly became apparent that she has both an appreciation for the legacy of our College and an ambitious vision that will allow us to build on our success going forward. We could not be more pleased to welcome her to Lehigh."
"During my time at Lehigh I will work to take a great College and make it even better," Donoghue Velleca said. "Our aim will be to ensure that the Colleges of Arts and Sciences provides a broad space for student learning, with intense scholarship and strong teaching. I relish the diversity of perspectives that you can find in an arts and sciences college and the opportunities for interdisciplinary work, and perhaps most importantly, the kind of faculty and students who are drawn to such an intellectually exciting setting."
During her time at Georgetown, Donoghue Velleca has built an impressive record as a researcher, teacher and administrator.
Her research, which explores the molecular processes that drive brain development, has garnered support from both the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation, and she spearheaded efforts to launch Georgetown's undergraduate major in neurobiology. Donoghue Velleca directed Georgetown's Howard Hughes Medical Institute university grant, which supported undergraduate research and partnered with Washington, D.C. public schools and a local community college to support college readiness. She has been the recipient of several awards for undergraduate teaching and graduate student mentorship.
As senior associate dean for faculty affairs and strategic planning, she directed more than 500 faculty members spanning 26 departments and 11 interdisciplinary programs; oversaw faculty hiring, including hiring initiatives for diversity; maintained strong faculty governance within the college and led its Executive Council; and, along with the chief financial officer, managed the college's operating budget and its dedicated endowment funds.
Donoghue Velleca said she was deeply devoted to Georgetown, but was drawn to Lehigh not only because of the strong reputation of College, but also because of the forward momentum of the university and the opportunities she sees to partner with Lehigh's four other colleges.