This group of Penn State College Deans and VPs meets once per semester to help to the Huck Institutes effectively catalyze trans-disciplinary research collaborations across the university.
Dean of the College of Nursing
Laurie Badzek is Dean of the College of Nursing. As a nurse, attorney and educator, Badzek specializes in genomics, health care ethics and law, nursing practice, and end-of-life care and decision making.
Badzek received a bachelor’s degree in nursing from West Virginia University and master’s degree in nursing from DePaul University. She also earned a juris doctor from West Virginia University and a postgraduate law degree with a focus on health law, policy and ethics from DePaul University.
Interim Dean of the College of Medicine
Kevin Black is the Vice Dean of the College of Medicine’s University Park Regional Medical Campus, and currently serves as the interim dean of the College of Medicine.
Dr. Black received his medical degree from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and his bachelor of arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania. His training includes an orthopaedic residency at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and a fellowship in sports medicine at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation.
Verne M. Willaman Dean of the Eberly College of Science
Doug Cavener is the Verne M. Willaman Dean of the Eberly College of Science. His research interests encompass genetic regulatory pathways that dynamically control developmental and physiological processes to adapt to internal or external perturbations.
Dr. Cavener received his B.A. from Pasadena College, an M.S. from Brown University, and did his doctoral work at the University of Georgia.
John Leone Dean of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences
Lee Kump is the John Leone Dean of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. His research interests include biogeochemical cycles, environmental biogeochemistry, and atmosphere/ocean evolution.
Dr. Kump holds a PhD from the University of South Florida.
Susan Welch Dean of the College of the Liberal Arts
Clarence Lang is the Susan Welch Dean of the College of the Liberal Arts.
Dean Lang received his bachelor’s degree in journalism with a minor in black studies from the University of Missouri, his master’s degree in history from Southern Illinois University, and his Ph.D. in history from the University of Illinois.
Craig J. Newschaffer
Dean of the College of Health and Human Development
Craig Newschaffer is dean of the College of Health and Human Development. Previously, he was associate dean for research in the Dornsife School of Public Health at Drexel University.
An epidemiologist with a primary research focus on the discovery of modifiable autism risk factors, Newschaffer’s research interests include environmental determinants of autism spectrum disorders, gene-environment interactions, neurological disorders, and chronic disease comorbidity.
Vice Dean of Research, College of Medicine
Leslie Parent is the Vice Dean of Research at the College of Medicine.
Dr. Parent started in the Division of Infectious Disease as a fellow, completed a post-doctoral fellowship in retrovirology, and started her own NIH-funded laboratory in 1998. She was named chief of the Division of Infectious Disease in 2007 and was later asked to co-lead the college’s M.D./Ph.D. program, helping train future physician scientists.
Dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences
Rick Roush is the dean of Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences. He responsible for the administration of all the College’s educational, research, government, alumni, industry relations, and Penn State Extension programs. He has particularly focused on key issues facing agriculture and rural communities in Pennsylvania, including water quality, job development, drug addiction, and pest management.
Dean of the College of Information Sciences and Technology
Andrew Sears is Dean of the College of Information Sciences and Technology. Dr. Sears’ research explores issues related to human-centered computing and accessibility. His research projects have addressed issues associated with mobile computing, health information technologies, speech recognition, and assessing an individual's cognitive status via normal daily interactions with information technologies.
Dr. Sears earned his bachelor of science degree in computer science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and his Ph.D. in computer science with an emphasis on human-computer interaction from the University of Maryland – College Park.
Harold and Inge Marcus Dean of Engineering
Justin Schwartz joined Penn State as the Harold and Inge Marcus Dean of Engineering in August 2017. His research interests include superconducting, magnetic and multiferroic materials and the systems they enable.
Dean Schwartz received a B.S. with Highest Honors from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Dr. Regina Vasilatos-Younken
Vice Provost for Graduate Education
Dean of the Graduate School
Dr. Regina Vasilatos-Younken is the Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Dean of the Graduate School. She is a professor of endocrine physiology and nutrition in the College of Agricultural Sciences at Penn State, and served as chair of the University Park component of the Intercollege Graduate Degree Program in physiology prior to accepting the position of senior associate dean of the Graduate School.
Senior Associate Dean, Graduate School
Dr. Michael Vererdame is Senior Associate Dean of the Graduate School at Penn State. Prior to his appointment, Dr. Verderame was a respected educator, mentor and leader at Penn State’s College of Medicine.
Dr. Verderame received his undergraduate and graduate degrees at Columbia University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco, before joining the faculty at Penn State’s College of Medicine.
Assistant Vice President for Research Operations
Ruth Weber is the Assistant Vice President for Research Operations at Penn State. She holds a B.S. in Labor and Industrial Relations and an M.S. in Workforce Development.
Senior Vice President for Research
Lora Weiss is the Senior Vice President for Research at Penn State University.
Weiss earned her doctorate in acoustics at Penn state in 1993 and worked for more than 16 years as an associate professor of acoustics in the College of Engineering and at the Applied Research Laboratory. Weiss joined the laboratory as a research assistant and worked her way up to head of the Autonomous Controls and Intelligent Systems Division.
Weiss holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Boston University and a master’s degree in mathematics from the University of California-Los Angeles.