University promotes associate dean, gains director of School of Education

One Gannon University faculty member will take on a new position in June and the university will also gain a new director of the School of Education.

Gannon faculty member John T. Young has been named interim dean of the university’s College of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences (CHESS), effective June 6. Kevin B. Zook, Ph.D., will become the new director of the School of Education on June 1. Janice M. Whiteman, assistant professor of education, will act as the interim director of the School of Education.

Young will be replacing Timothy M. Downs, Ph.D., who has accepted a position as vice president for academic affairs at Niagara University (N.Y.).

Gannon will hold a national search for the CHESS dean’s position, beginning with the creation of a search committee. Keith Taylor, Ph.D., provost and vice president of academic affairs, said the university hopes to have a new dean in place by Jan. 1, 2012.

“Dr. Downs will be missed, but Gannon is very fortunate to have someone as committed to the University and its Mission as professor Young to fill the void,” Taylor said in a press release. “CHESS will continue to flourish under John’s leadership during this period of transition. Dr. Downs won’t be easy to replace, but John Young will provide strong leadership as interim dean until a new dean is named.”

Since 2006, Young has served as the associate dean of CHESS. He was a member of the English faculty at Villa Maria College from 1967-89 and has served as a faculty member in the Gannon English department since 1989, the year Gannon and Villa Maria College merged.

In addition to his 44 years of teaching, Young’s administrative positions include chair of the Gannon English department (1998-2006), chair of the Gannon Review Council (1995-2003) and director of the Gannon Liberal Arts program (1992-97).

Zook will come to Gannon following an 8-year stint as a professor in the department of education at Messiah College in Grantham, Pa. Zook also served as chair of Messiah’s Department of Education (2000-08), chair of its Teacher Education Committee (2000-08) and as the college’s teacher certification officer (2004-08).

“The programs offered by Gannon University’s School of Education are well known throughout Pennsylvania for their quality, rigor and focus on students,” Zook said in a press release. “I’m very excited about the opportunity to work with such a dynamic and dedicated group of both faculty and students.”

-from staff reports