Undergraduate Affairs Has New Dean
Dr. Gretchen Adams has joined the College of Applied Health Sciences as Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Student Affairs. She was formerly the Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Chemistry, where she also directed the Chemistry Merit Program for Emerging Scholars and taught general chemistry courses. She earned her Ph.D. in Chemistry at Illinois.
Dr. Adams was interested in the position in AHS because she was looking for a new challenge. “I’d worked with initiatives at the departmental level and wanted to implement and administer programs at the college level,” she said. She enjoys working with teams. As an assistant dean, that team will include administrators, faculty and instructors, advisors, staff, and students.
Although her position has changed, her interest in helping students has not. She will continue her focus on helping students grow personally and professionally and preparing them for not only career but also civic responsibilities.
“I am deeply interested in the quality of the educational experience students receive, so I want to learn about what we do well in the College of Applied Health Sciences and what we can do better,” Dr. Adams said. She also will focus on student recruitment and retention. Through research on the retention of chemistry students, she found that the quality of academic advising was critical, particularly for students who were unsure about the major, and she is looking forward to working with AHS’s award-winning advising staff.
Dr. Adams also will oversee the Edmund J. James Scholar Program and the Mannie L. Jackson Illinois Academic Enrichment and Leadership Program (I-LEAP). She currently is working with I-LEAP’s Senior Program Coordinator, April Carter, to evaluate the effectiveness of the program.
Since joining AHS in June, Dr. Adams says she has encountered nothing but support. “I am grateful for the mentoring I have received, especially from Dr. Reggie Alston, and for the openness to ideas,” she said. “I am always asking questions and looking for ways to improve and I believe that will be very welcome here.”