Catawba College names four new deans

Published 7:37 pm Thursday, January 6, 2022

SALISBURY – Catawba College has named four people to dean positions starting in the upcoming semester.

The positions are intended to round out the college’s academic structure and were filled by existing faculty.

Jay Bolin has been named as dean of science and the environment. He will oversee biology, environmental studies, chemistry, and Catawba’s Center for the Environment

Bolin holds doctorate and master’s degrees from Old Dominion University. Before becoming a professor at Catawba, he was a faculty member at Trinity Washington University and the University of Namibia. He also performed research for the Smithsonian.

Kim Creamer will serve as dean of education and social/behavioral sciences. She will oversee the teacher education, psychology, sociology and political science programs as well as the college’s teaching academy.

Creamer holds a doctorate in education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  She earned her master’s and bachelor’s degrees from the College of William and Mary.

She has been a classroom teacher, a writing instructor, an educational consultant on literacy instruction, a visiting professor at Wake Forest University and an assistant professor at Greensboro College.

Phillip Burgess will serve as dean of the Shuford School of Performing Arts, which encompasses the college’s music and theater programs.

Burgess is the college organist collaborative pianist. He was previously associate chair of the Music Department and director of vocal studies.

Burgess said his goal is to bring the entire performing arts program at the college together. He said the departments share students between courses, but they have not created many productions together until recently.

“It’s my goal to bring both the faculty and the students into closer cooperation and future endeavors with each other to offer bigger and better things to the greater Salisbury community,” Burgess said.

He was longtime organist and choirmaster at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church and now also serves at First United Church of Christ.

Burgess holds degrees from Samford University and the University of Michigan. He also completed post-doctorate certification programs at the University of Nevada — Las Vegas and the University of Memphis. Prior to his work with Catawba, he was a faculty member at Pfeiffer University.

Vice Provost Forrest Anderson will take on the role of dean of humanities, overseeing English, foreign languages, history, religion and philosophy programs.

Anderson completed his doctorate at Florida State University and spent time as an archivist and assistant for writer Robert Olen Butler. Anderson is a fiction writer with an interest in teaching first year composition.

Jim Hand will continue as the dean of health science and human performance.

The college is searching for a dean to oversee the Ketner School of Business. The school also includes communications, math and computer science programs. Eric Hake is serving as interim dean of the school.

Provost Constance Rogers-Lowery said all of the deans have a history of working collaboratively. The deans will begin a semester-long training program on Friday.

About Carl Blankenship

Carl Blankenship has covered education for the Post since December 2019. Before coming to Salisbury he was a staff writer for The Avery Journal-Times in Newland and graduated from Appalachian State University in 2017, where he was editor of The Appalachian.

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