Mercy College Names Six New Deans

By Shedeiky Hamilton

The new school year has meant many new additions to Mercy College, including the initiation of six new deans.

The appointees are Dr. Braddlee, Ph.D., as Dean of Libraries, Instructional Technology and Online Learning; Patricia Chute, Ed.D., as Dean of the School of Health and Natural Sciences; Hind Rassam Culhane, Ed.D., as Dean of School of Behavioral and Social Sciences; Miriam Sahatdjian Gogol, Ph.D., as Dean of School of Liberal Arts; Geofrey T. Mills, Ph.D., as Dean of the School of Business; and Andrew Peiser, Ph.D., as Dean of the School of Education.

Braddlee, a graduate of Frye Leadership Institute, brings to Mercy College 20 years of experience in advancing academic technologies in higher education. Since 1999, he has served as director of academic technology at the Pottruck Technology Resource Center for Simmons College in Boston.

He states he is dedicated to bringing together library and technology professionals to work together to provide leadership in a shared vision.

“What I see as our most important job here is helping our students to succeed – both in their academic work and in the preparation for their lives and their careers,” Braddlee said. Today, being able to use and understand technology, as well as to find and evaluate information in an aware and critical manner are important keys to success.”

With the opening of the renovated Library Learning Commons on Oct. 5, Braddlee stated that Mercy College will be ushering in a new era in the role that libraries and technology will play at Mercy College.

” I encourage all students not only to come by this exciting new space when we open, but to keep your eyes open for the events and services that we’ll be offering,” he stated.

Chute, an associate professor and audiology coordinator for the Speech and Hearing Center, has been chair of the Division of Health Professions and Natural Sciences since 2000. A veteran in clinical audiology, Chute has had an extensive and successful career of 27 years in that field before coming to Mercy College. She is a member of the Council of Scientific Trustees of the Deafness Research Foundation and former editor in chief of the Volta Review, a journal dedicated to publishing research in deafness.

“I see the growth of both curriculum and faculty over the next few years and hope to develop a cohesive vision for the school in conjunction with the faculty,” she stated.

Peiser has been at Mercy College since 1998, having served in numerous administrative positions prior to becoming dean. Under his leadership, the School of Education achieved New York State Board of Regents accreditation. His accomplishments in collaboration with the school’s faculty include a review of all programs resulting in invigorated curricula and the creation of innovative programs of study.

“My background in education includes previous experience in the New York City public school system, as a teacher, assistant principal, and principal, and serving in various administrative positions at Mercy College prior to being appointed as a dean,” he stated. ” In addition, my master’s degree and doctorate are in the field of education. I have also published several textbooks which are widely used in public and private school systems throughout New York State and across the nation.”

He was honored as Teacher of the Year by the New York City Board of Education as well as by the Association of Teachers of Social Studies and the Social Studies Supervisors Association.

Peiser added, “I envision that during my tenure we will continue to create new programs of study, increase student enrollment, ensure the highest quality in faculty and academic programs, expand relationships and collaborations with community school districts and leaders, and identify new grant and research opportunities.”

Culhane has been at Mercy College since 1979, where her career included a variety of roles as professor, associate chair, chair, and interim dean. Culhane was a Fulbright Scholar in Damascus, Syria, where she lectured and gave workshops in psychology and counseling to University of Damascus students and to medical residents at two of the city’s hospitals. She was a senior education advisor in Post War Iraq with Creative Associates International, Inc., a sub contractor to US State Department USAID Iraq Education Reconstruction Project, RISE (Revitalization of Iraqi Schools and Stabilization of Iraqi Education), and worked closely with the Iraqi Ministry of Education coordinating and implementing the training of 32,000 secondary school teachers and administrators. In addition, she was one of 20 (one of two women) Iraqi -American educators and professionals who received the Distinction Award in the Humanities for her outstanding achievement in education and service in the U.S. and Iraq.

Culhane is one of five Iraqi-American professionals featured in a State Department documentary on the contribution of Iraqi-Americans to the postwar reconstruction efforts in Iraq. In the last few years, Dr. Culhane has been an education consultant for the State Department’s Middle East Partnership Initiative Education project (MEPI) in Jordan, Kuwait, and Oman.

Gogol, a Fulbright scholar from Ostrava University in the Czech Republic, comes to Mercy College from Fairfield University where she served as associate dean since 2003, first in the College of Arts and Sciences, and then in the office of the vice president of academic affairs. Prior to joining Fairfield, Gogol was a professor of English and speech at the State University of New York, Fashion Institute of Technology, where she served from 1981 to 2003. She was founder of the International Dreiser Society, an affiliate society of the American Literature Association.

A recipient of research grants and fellowships, Gogol has written, edited, and contributed to numerous books and scholarly articles. Her edited collection, “Theodore Dreiser: Beyond Naturalism,” was winner of one of Choice’s national awards for best academic book of the year.

Mills comes to Mercy College from Elizabeth City State University in North Carolina, where he served as dean of the Walter R. Davis School of Business and Economics. A Fulbright scholar, Mills began his professional career teaching and engaging in research in economics and finance. He entered administration in 1983 with an appointment as assistant dean of the College of Business Administration at the University of Northern Iowa, and subsequently was appointed to numerous administrative positions including associate dean and vice president for academic affairs/dean of business.

Mills has broad international experience, having spent eight years in leadership positions at institutions in Europe and the Middle East.