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 has been 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. William Clark is the Associate Dean of the Graduate School at Penn State. An alumnus of Penn State, Clark most recently spent twenty-six years on the faculty at Louisiana State University as professor and chair of the department of political science. While at LSU, Clark served as director of the master’s degree program in liberal arts for 10 years, as both director of graduate studies and as an undergraduate adviser in the department of political science, and served on the system-wide Executive Graduate Council.
As Associate Dean, Clark will primarily focus on graduate program review and assessment for all of the 302 graduate degree programs representing 196 major fields of study at the University. Additionally, he will be involved in the coordination of professional development activities for graduate faculty that promote best practices in graduate education. Clark will also report on the Graduate School’s progress in meeting strategic plan goals and will oversee the development and continuing enhancement of standardized graduate program data resources to support meeting program quality objectives in every graduate degree program.
A native of Philadelphia, Clark received his bachelor's degree in political science from Penn State, a master's degree in political science from Drew University, and a doctoral degree in political science from the University of South Carolina.
Dr. Stephanie Danette Preston is the Assistant Dean for Graduate Educational Equity.
Previously, Preston was the Senior Director of the Office of Graduate Educational Equity Programs where she spearheaded the Graduate School's efforts to increase diversity within the graduate student community across the University.
Preston has administered, coordinated and evaluated comprehensive recruitment programs and retention activities which enhance the professional development of underrepresented graduate students. As Senior Director, and in her current role, Preston leads the Big Ten Academic Alliance Summer Research Opportunities Program and the Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program. She has represent Penn State as a participant in programs such as the National Science Foundation's Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate, designed to broaden participation in science technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines. Additionally, she has coordinated the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Scholars Program.
Preston completed her Ph.D. at Penn State in curriculum & instruction in science education. Her graduate research focused on the underrepresentation of ethnic minorities and women in STEM fields. She received her bachelor’s degree in biology and her master’s degree in curriculum & instruction (science education) at Xavier University of Louisiana. Preston taught high school biology, chemistry, and human anatomy & physiology in New Orleans.
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