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Williams College Names Brown's Mandel as First Woman to Serve as President

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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Williams College announced Tuesday the appointment of Maud S. Mandel, dean of the college and professor of history and Judaic studies at Brown University, as its 18th president.
She will succeed Protik (Tiku) Majumder, who has served as interim president since Jan. 1, following the move, after eight years, of Adam F. Falk to the presidency of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Mandel will begin her tenure at Williams on July 1, 2018.
The announcement was made in an email to the college community from Michael Eisenson, chair of both the Williams Board of Trustees and the college’s Presidential Search Committee.
“Maud embodies the values at our core and will provide exceptional leadership as we continue to pursue our shared aspirations for Williams,” Eisenson said.
As dean at Brown, Mandel has been deeply involved in efforts to advance diversity and inclusion, including promoting programs to foster retention for historically underrepresented students in the STEM fields. She also led a collaborative process with students and staff to open the First-Generation College and Low-Income Student Center (FLi Center), the first center at any Ivy League school to be dedicated to first-generation students.
“The committee found Maud’s passion for liberal arts education infectious and her commitment to deepening and enhancing inclusion and diversity stirring,” said Ngonidzashe Munemo, Williams’ associate dean for institutional diversity, associate professor of political science and member of the Presidential Search Committee.
In her scholarship, Mandel examines the ways policies and practices of inclusion and exclusion in 20th-century France have affected ethnic and religious minorities, most notably Jews, Armenians and Muslim North Africans. Her work has won support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the American Philosophical Society, among others.
A strong proponent of the liberal arts, Mandel established the Brown Learning Collaborative, aimed at strengthening student learning in the core competencies of a liberal arts education, including writing, reading, research, data analysis, problem-solving and public speaking.
“She is an impressive scholar who is clearly energized by her work with undergraduates,” said Safa Zaki, Williams’ professor of psychology, chair of the Faculty Steering Committee and member of the Presidential Search Committee. “She has a deep respect for faculty governance, with a record of collaborative leadership. I am particularly struck by her humility and her ability to listen. I have no doubt that she will strengthen our community.” 
Mandel earned a B.A. from Oberlin College in 1989 and completed a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 1998. After coming to Brown as a visiting assistant professor in 1997 she joined the university’s faculty permanently in 2001, rising to professor of history and Judaic studies in 2014. During this time, she also held leadership roles in the university’s Department of History and the Program in Judaic Studies, including a term as director of the program from 2012 to 2014. She became dean of the college in 2014. 
“Both inside the classroom and as a senior academic leader, Maud Mandel’s impact on the undergraduate experience at Brown has been nothing short of transformative,” said Brown University President Christina Paxson. “Maud is a deeply knowledgeable higher education leader, a relentless champion for undergraduates and a truly inspiring colleague. We have been fortunate that she has made Brown her home for the last two decades, and I commend Williams College on its outstanding selection for its next president.”
Mandel’s husband, Steve Simon, and two children, Lev and Ava, will join her when she arrives at Williams College this summer.
“I have always known that Williams was an extraordinary institution, and I’ve had the pleasure over the last few months as I’ve engaged in this process to really learn much more about why Williams occupies this spot,” Mandel said. “And it is in that process that I have become so deeply drawn to this opportunity. I am excited to lead this extraordinary campus into the next phase of its development.”
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Williams College Promotes Seven Faculty Members to Full Professor

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Williams College has announced the promotion of seven faculty to full professorships, effective July 1, 2020. 

They include Jessica Chapman, history; Lisa Gilbert, geosciences; Christopher Goh, chemistry; LeRhonda (Rhon) S. Manigault-Bryant, Africana studies; Ashok Rai, economics; Neil Roberts, Africana studies; and Fred Strauch, physics.

In addition, eight faculty have received new named chair positions: Daniel Aalberts is the Kennedy P. Richardson ’71 Professor of Physics; Stephen Freund is the John B. McCoy and John T. McCoy Professor of Computer Science; Marc Gotlieb is the Halvorsen Director of the Graduate Program in Art History; John Limon is the John Hawley Roberts Professor of English; Susan Loepp is the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Mathematics; Lucie Schmidt, is the John J. Gibson Professor of Economics; Eiko Siniawer is the Class of 1955 Memorial Professor of History; and Steven Swoap is the Howard B. Schow ’50 and Nan W. Schow Professor of Biology.

Jessica Chapman

Chapman's specialization is the United States and the world, with research emphases on Vietnam, decolonization, and the Cold War. Her teaching interests include U.S. foreign relations, the Vietnam Wars, the Cold War and decolonization, sport and diplomacy, and the relationship between foreign policy and domestic affairs. Her first book, "Cauldron of Resistance: Ngo Dinh Diem, The United States, and 1950s Southern Vietnam," was published by Cornell University Press in 2013. The recipient of a Mellon New Directions Fellowship, she is currently at work on two book projects. She received her B.A. from Valparaiso University and her Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Lisa Gilbert

Gilbert's areas of interest include undersea volcanoes and hydrothermal vents and science education. Her deep-sea research emphasizes the geophysical and geologic structure of mid-ocean ridges, seamounts, and hydrothermal systems. She is also a field geologist, with projects on ancient underwater volcanoes now accessible in New Zealand, Cyprus, Oman, Canada, Connecticut, and the western United States. Each summer, and part-time during the academic year, she leads the Marine Geosciences Research Group at Williams-Mystic. Her ongoing work includes efforts at improving equity in higher education, building partnerships in sustainability education throughout the learning ecosystem, and systems thinking skills development. She received her A.B. from Dartmouth and her Ph.D. from the University of Washington.

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