Assistant deans appointed in College of EMS

July 22, 2014

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Dr. Chanaka Mendis
Dr. Christina Curras
Dr. Philip Parker

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. — Dr. Mesut Muslu, interim dean for the University of Wisconsin-Platteville College of Engineering, Mathematics and Science, has announced the appointments of Dr. Chanaka Mendis, Dr. Christina Curras and Dr. Philip Parker as College of EMS assistant deans to assist with the administration and leadership of the college. Mendis will be serving as the assistant dean for faculty/staff services, Curras as the assistant dean for student services and Parker as the assistant dean for outreach and new ventures. All three assistant deans started their roles on July 1.

“With so many talented individuals who want to serve the college, it was not an easy decision to make, but with the new assistant deans in place, the college is ready to provide outstanding service to our students, faculty and staff and also position itself to move forward with new initiatives,” said Muslu.

"At a time when science, mathematics, engineering and technology education is so vital and at the forefront of so many national educational discussions, UW-Platteville is fortunate to have such expertise on our campus," said Dr. Mittie N. Den Herder, provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs. "The College of EMS is under excellent leadership with Interim Dean Muslu and the three new assistant deans. Under their guidance, the university will continue to be a leader in STEM education with a strong foundation in the liberal arts and sciences."

Mendis is a professor in the department of chemistry, where he has been a faculty member since 2004.  He earned his Ph.D. (1999) and Master of Science (1996) in chemistry at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., after earning his Bachelor of Science in chemistry at SUNY/College at Old Westbury in 1992. His research interests lie in the areas of gene profiling, cell death and signal transduction. Mendis has served multiple committees at the department, college and university level and has played an active role in promoting and institutionalizing undergraduate research at UW-Platteville.

Curras is a professor in the department of civil and environmental engineering where she has been a faculty member since 2000. Curras earned her Ph.D. (2000), Master of Science (1998) and Bachelor of Science (1995) in civil engineering at the University of California at Davis. Her research interests are in geotechnical engineering, earthquake engineering and undergraduate education. Curras served as the special assistant to the vice chancellor for Administrative Services from 2011-13 and as department chair for the department of civil and environmental engineering since 2013.

Parker is a professor in the department of civil and environmental engineering where he has been a faculty member since 1998. Parker earned his Ph.D. (1998), Master of Science (1995) and Bachelor of Science (1993) in civil and environmental engineering at Clarkson University. Parker is active in applied environmental engineering research as well as engineering education research. He is the co-author of the textbook “Introduction to Infrastructure.” He has served as the program coordinator for environmental engineering since 2006.

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