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Wendy L. Hill, professor of neuroscience, has been named provost and dean of the faculty.

The announcement was made by Lafayette President Daniel Weiss.

“I am delighted that Wendy Hill will be provost and dean of the faculty,” Weiss said. “She has a record of extraordinary accomplishment as a teacher, scholar, and academic leader. Equally important, her very effective service to the College as a member of several important elected and advisory committees is entirely consistent with the requirements of the provostship. Her experience positions Wendy uniquely well to lead our academic division as the College prepares to launch a strategic plan that places the academic program at its core and calls for significant new academic resources and curricular initiatives.”

A member of the faculty since 1989, Hill holds the William C ’67 and Pamela H. Rappolt chair in neuroscience. Her appointment as provost and dean of the faculty is for an initial term of two years, Weiss said, and takes effect July 1. Hill succeeds Anthony M. Cummings, who will step down after one year in those positions to pursue full-time teaching and research as a professor in the Department of Music.

“I understand and respect Tony’s desire to focus more exclusively on his teaching and scholarship and thank him for his service and contributions this past year as the leader of the academic division,” Weiss said. “I look forward to continue working with Tony in his faculty role.”

Hill is a member of the Strategic Planning Steering Committee that is leading a College-wide process that will result in a strategic plan charting Lafayette’s future course. Her service to Lafayette includes experience as a member of key committees of the faculty, including the Promotion, Tenure and Review Committee, Governance Committee, Academic Progress Committee, and Appeal and Grievance Committee, which she chaired. She has also served as a faculty associate on committees of the Board of Trustees, including the Committee on Educational Policy, Committee on Grounds and Buildings, and Committee on Development and Alumni Affairs. In addition, she chaired the College’s Campus Life Committee and served on the Admissions Committee and the Presidential Working Group on Athletics.

Hill played the lead role in the development of the College’s interdisciplinary bachelor of science degree program in neuroscience and was its founding chair. She was named Pennsylvania’s Professor of the Year for 1999 by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and CASE, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. The honor saluted her extraordinary dedication to teaching and exceptional impact on and involvement with undergraduate students. Hill has developed and teaches several introductory and advanced courses and has involved more than 100 students in her research program, many of whom have coauthored papers with Hill that have been published in scientific journals or collaborated with her on conference presentations or published abstracts.

Hill has received three major Lafayette awards for excellence in teaching, mentoring, and scholarship, including the James E. Lennertz Prize for Exceptional Teaching and Mentoring in 2005, Marquis Distinguished Teaching Award (1998), and Thomas Roy and Lura Forrest Jones Faculty Lecture Award, in recognition of excellence in teaching and scholarship (1995).

Hill has received research awards from numerous organizations, including the American Museum of Natural History, the American Ornithologists Union, the Fulbright Commission, and the Sigma Xi Research Society. In 2003, to support her sabbatical research, the James McKeen Cattell Fund honored her as one of four national fellowship recipients. In addition, she has received funding support for enhancing the neuroscience program from the National Science Foundation, Arthur Vining Davis Foundation, and Alden Trust.

Hill served as Metzgar Assistant Professor, an endowed position, from 1991 to 1995, when she was promoted to associate professor. She became full professor in 2000 and was appointed to the Rappolt Professorship in 2002. She spent the 2003-04 academic year as visiting research professor in the Department of Psychology at Cornell University. Before coming to Lafayette, Hill conducted postdoctoral research and taught in the psychology department at Rutgers for five years.

Hill received a Ph.D. from the University of Washington through the Department of Psychology’s Animal Behavior program, with a minor area in zoology/ecology. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology, with honors, from Douglass College, Rutgers University.

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