For Immediate Release — March 19, 2004



Administrator, Professor comes to Geneseo from Georgia Southern University;

Will Begin New Duties in July

GENESEO, N.Y. — Katherine S. Conway-Turner, the dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and a professor of psychology at Georgia Southern University, has been appointed provost at the State University of New York at Geneseo.

As Geneseo’s chief academic officer, she will oversee 21 academic departments, the dean of the college office, libraries, computing and information technology, sponsored and institutional research, and the access opportunity programs. She will report directly to President Christopher C. Dahl and will assume her new duties on July 21.

"I am delighted that Kate Conway-Turner will be joining us," Dahl said. "She is a person of great energy, intelligence and charm, with an impressive record as a teacher, scholar and academic leader. From her work at Delaware and Georgia Southern, she will bring valuable insights to Geneseo as we seek to become the premier public liberal arts college in the country. I look forward to working with her, and I know that she will enjoy working with the various members of our college community."

Conway-Turner is the academic head of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences at Georgia Southern University, where she oversees 240 faculty, 10 liberal arts and social science departments, and several interdisciplinary units.

Conway-Turner earned a bachelor’s degree in microbiology, a master’s in psychology, and a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Kansas. Her areas of specialization include adult development and aging, African/African American family development (both mental and physical health), and women and intergenerational relationships.

Prior to her experience at Georgia Southern University, Conway-Turner served as professor of psychology and chair of the University of Delaware’s department of individual and family studies. She also served as interim associate dean for the university’s College of Arts and Sciences from 1997-1999, and as director of its interdisciplinary Women’s Studies Program from 1993-1996. She also has previous academic and administrative experience at the College of New Jersey, an institution that, like Geneseo, is consistently ranked among the top private and public colleges and universities in the north.

"I’m really excited about joining the Geneseo community, and I look forward to working with everybody there," Conway-Turner said. "When I visited the campus, I was impressed with the commitment of everyone with whom I met. I am poised and ready to help move Geneseo to a better place than it already enjoys, and it will be a privilege to be a part of the process." Conway-Turner added that she was particularly impressed with the students she met while interviewing. "The students told the real story of what’s happening at Geneseo," she said. "They are so dedicated, and so happy with the education they are getting at the college. They told me that the faculty members support them, and always challenge them to do their best. Students have a unique vantage point; the college can say it is student-centered, but when the students themselves say that it is student-centered, then that’s really saying something."

In a memo to faculty in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences at Georgia Southern University announcing Conway-Turner’s departure, Georgia Southern Provost Vaughn Vandegrift said that Conway-Turner accomplished much during her tenure at the university. "She has taken steps to energize interdisciplinary programs such as Women’s and Gender Studies, Irish Studies, and Africana Studies, and a pre-law center was recently established with her support," he said. "She has made outstanding faculty appointments during her years here, and has named department chairs in Art, Communication Arts, History and Political Science. She initiated efforts such as the Afternoon of the Arts to raise support for the college…and appointed a Task Force on Faculty Governance and began work to implement its recommendations." He added that Conway-Turner leaves a strong academic unit "that will continue to occupy a place at the center of the university’s intellectual endeavor. "Dean Conway-Turner did much to represent the criticality of the college’s mission to the university community and beyond, and we thank her for this and wish her well at SUNY Geneseo," he wrote.

Conway-Turner is a member of the American Psychological Association, the Association of Women in Psychology, the American Association of University Women, and Phi Kappa Phi. She was awarded a prestigious American Council on Education fellowship (1996-97) and a W.K. Kellogg Foundation National Leadership Grant (1990-1993), and was a post-doctoral fellow in mental health patient advocacy at the University of Southern California (1982-1983). Conway-Turner also served as an assistant professor in the department of psychology and ethnic studies at Santa Clara University in California, as a National Institute of Mental Health post-doctoral fellow in psychiatric epidemiology at UCLA’s School of Public Health, and has been a member of the executive board of the American Council on Education’s Council of Fellows (1997-2003).

Conway-Turner has authored or co-authored dozens of journal articles and chapters in scholarly publications, and has presented numerous professional papers on issues facing older women and African American women. She has also delivered hundreds of presentations to campus and community audiences on topics concerning family studies, women’s studies, psychology of women, African American families, women as leaders, and midwifery in Zimbabwe.

Conway-Turner’s appointment concludes a nationwide search that attracted nearly 80 applicants, according to Ron Herzman, Distinguished Teaching Professor of English and chair of the provost search committee. "We were fortunate to have an extremely strong field of candidates, and were particularly happy with the finalists we brought to campus to interview for the position," Herzman said. "Kate clearly emerged from this pool, and there is no question that there was an enormous amount of enthusiasm for her candidacy from all aspects of the college community."

(Photo Credit: Chrissy Ambler/Georgia Southern University)

— 30 —