Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Dean of the Graduate School
Dr. Regina Vasilatos-Younken is the Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Dean of the Graduate School. She is a professor of endocrine physiology and nutrition in the College of Agricultural Sciences at Penn State, and served as chair of the University Park component of the Intercollege Graduate Degree Program in physiology prior to accepting the position of senior associate dean of the Graduate School.
Dr. Vasilatos-Younken began her baccalaureate degree program in biology at New York University, and completed her Bachelor of Science degree in animal and pre-veterinary science at the University of Maine at Orono, and her Ph.D. in animal nutrition at Penn State. She worked as a research associate in the Nutrition Unit of the Roman L. Hruska U.S. Meat Animal Research Center in Clay Center, NE, and in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Penn State, before joining the faculty in the College of Agricultural Sciences in 1983.
In her tenure at Penn State, Dr. Vasilatos-Younken developed a basic research program in the endocrine regulation of postnatal growth and metabolism, targeting the metabolic effects of growth hormone and involving collaborators from around the world. She also developed patented technologies to reduce contamination of meat animal carcasses. Dr. Vasilatos-Younken team-taught undergraduate courses in animal nutrition and comparative physiology and graduate courses in metabolic and endocrine physiology, and served on graduate program steering committees in nutrition, physiology, and animal sciences. She is author or co-author of more than 70 published research papers and proceedings and an equal number of abstracts, and in 1993, she received the Poultry Science Association Research Award. She is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Endocrine Society, the American Society of Animal Science, and the Poultry Science Association.
Dr. Michael F. Verderame is senior associate dean of the Graduate School at Penn State. Prior to his appointment, Dr. Verderame was a respected educator, mentor and leader at Penn State’s College of Medicine, where his many significant accomplishments during 25 years of service included the first revision of the graduate Core Curriculum in more than 10 years, the reorganization of the doctoral graduate programs, and service on numerous College committees and peer review positions with the National Institutes of Health. Under his leadership, the Graduate Student Association wrote a Graduate Student Oath (analogous to the more widely known Hippocratic Oath taken by medical students) that has become the capstone of incoming students’ orientation, and has been incorporated into Commencement.
Appointed as assistant professor of microbiology and immunology at the College of Medicine in 1989 and named associate dean in 2004, Dr. Verderame joined an elite group of faculty when he was honored as a College of Medicine Distinguished Educator. A member of the Graduate Faculty at Penn State, Dr. Verderame is a longtime member and previous chair of the Association of American Medical Colleges’ Graduate Research Education and Training Group Steering Committee that impacted biomedical research and graduate education, both locally and nationally. He remains a co-principal investigator for a Department of Health and Human Services Office of Research Integrity research grant, and has published more than 65 peer-reviewed articles.
Dr. Verderame received his undergraduate and graduate degrees at Columbia University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco, before joining the faculty at Penn State’s College of Medicine.
Dr. Suzanne C. Adair is the assistant dean of the Graduate School at Penn State. She also oversees the Office of Graduate Education Equity Programs. Prior to her current position, she was the professional development coordinator in the Affirmative Action Office.
Dr. Adair has over 20 years of experience in the fields of mental health, education, and social work. Before coming to Penn State, she was the assistant director for a school social work program in the Philadelphia Public School District and has worked as a family therapist, bereavement counselor, and manager of residential sites for mentally ill adults. Along with her work at Penn State, Dr. Adair has served as a consultant for both local and national organizations, conducting professional development sessions on issues of minority recruitment and retention, promoting diversity and inclusion, team building, climate improvement, and effective communication skills.
She received her undergraduate degree in psychology from Antioch College and her master’s degree in social work from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Adair earned her Ph.D. in educational theory and policy at Penn State.