Under the leadership of the Dean, this office strives to meet the needs of individual departments and programs; promote excellence across the Panuska College of Professional Studies as a whole; and represent the priorities of the College of Professional Studies to the larger university community and to such external constituencies as parents, alumni, grant-funding agencies, and the Leahy Community Health and Family Center.
Debra A. Pellegrino has served as Dean since July 2007. The office has one associate dean and two assistant deans responsible for day-to-day management of the graduate and undergraduate programs.
"As dean, I have plenty to smile about. All of PCPS programs are fully accredited. Our doctor of physical therapy program (DPT) recently completed its on-site visit with CAPTE in spring 2009. As dean, I want to maintain my connection with students, faculty, staff, alumni, and families and remain as accessible as possible. I never want to lose my passion for teaching and research or the personal interactions," remarked Dr. Pellegrino. "In 2009, I had the opportunity to work with honor students in teacher education who later received Fulbright Awards."
Dean Pellegrino's early initiatives include revitalizing the assessment process to incorporate longer term objectives and national accreditations, and retooling service learning to enrich our academic programs and supporting and increasing faculty-student research.
"We are unusual among our peer institutions, because every undergraduate student in the Panuska College of Professional Studies completes a service learning requirement, and many of our graduate students complete that obligation, as well, both regionally and internationally," Dean Pellegrino noted. "Although many examples of service learning initiatives exist in the academic programs of PCPS, the newly-opened Edward R. Leahy, Jr. Center Clinic for the Uninsured: A Cooperative Project at The University of Scranton provides an excellent opportunity for our students to share their ‘gifts.'" According to University of Scranton President, Rev. Scott R. Pilarz, S.J., the Leahy Community Center housed in McGurrin Hall is "the embodiment of Jesuit education at its best." With the recent adjustments to the Leahy Community and Family Center, I believe we have reached a good collaboration among the disciplines in PCPS and are well positioned to move ahead in all areas of counseling, education, nutrition, occupational therapy and physical therapy and the other allied health sciences.
To help faculty members win outside support for their research and teaching, the Dean sponsors a "Circle of Scholars" program and workshops in preparing grant applications for the Leahy Faculty Research Awards. Partly as a result of these workshops, faculty have obtained outside funding to pursue their research and scholarship.
A key part of the Dean's role takes place off campus, connecting with external constituencies and exploring how alumni and grant-funding agencies can play an active partnership role within the College of Professional Studies, and with the PCPS Board of Visitors.