President John Simon and Provost Pat Farrell announced Maria Donoghue Velleca as the Herbert J. and Ann L. Siegel Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences in an email sent out to the Lehigh community on Feb. 21 at 10 a.m.
Donoghue Velleca, who is an accomplished neurobiologist, will assume her role as dean on June 30 and will succeed Interim Dean Cameron Wesson who has served in the position since June 1, 2018.
“(Donoghue Velleca) shares our vision for the future of the College, and for Lehigh as a whole, and we could not be more proud to welcome her to our campus community,” Farrell and Simon said in the email.
Donoghue Velleca has been at Georgetown University since 2006, where she has contributed as a researcher, educator and as an administrator.
As an administrator at Georgetown, she has served as senior associate dean for faculty affairs and strategic planning.
In regards to her research, Donoghue Velleca has delved into the study of molecular processes involved with brain development. She also was an integral part of developing the undergraduate neurobiology major at Georgetown.
Prior to her tenure at Georgetown, she was as an assistant professor of neurobiology at Yale University’s School of Medicine for eight years.
Prior to her career in academia, she studied biology and psychology as an undergraduate student at Boston College and completed her Ph.D. in neuroscience at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.
The CAS dean search was conducted by Stephen DeWeerth, the dean of the P.C. Rosin College of Engineering and Applied, and professor Jack Lule, the chair of the Department of Journalism of Communication.
According to a Lehigh News article, Donoghue Velleca said she is honored to join Lehigh and is excited to see the university grow. She said in the article that every time she met with the search committee, she “felt as though I was in a master class on what makes a university strong.”