Meet our Deans

Dr. Bruce Berdanier

School of Engineering

Dr. Berdanier is a registered professional engineer and surveyor in both South Dakota and Ohio. Dr. Berdanier has been involved in water and environmental development projects in the Artibonite Valley of Haiti since 1995 and has directed a program for Engineers Without Borders in Bolivia since 2009. Dr. Berdanier received a BSCE from Ohio State University, an MSCE in Environmental Engineering from Purdue University, and a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering and Hydrogeology from The Ohio State University. Prior to joining SDSU in 2008, he held various positions at Ohio Northern University and the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.

Dr. Mark Ligas

Dolan School of Business

Mark Ligas is the Interim Dean and an Associate Professor of Marketing at the Dolan School of Business. Prior to being appointed Interim Dean, Mark served as the Associate Dean and Director of Graduate Programs for the Dolan School. Mark earned a BA from the University of Pennsylvania, a MS from the Pennsylvania State University, and a PhD from the University of Connecticut. His research work focuses on the role of brand meaning in consumption, emotions in retail setting, and customer-service provider relationships. Prior to pursuing graduate studies, Dr. Ligas worked as a manager and as an assistant buyer for a Philadelphia-based retailer.

Dr. Robert Hannafin

Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions

Dr. Hannafin was the Dean of the College of Education, Information and Technology at Long Island University until June 2014. Prior to that he spent three years at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Hartford and served on the faculties at several universities. From 2004-2008 he was at the Neag School of Education at the University of Connecticut where he taught in the Integrated Baccalaureate Master’s Program and was program head of Cognition and Instruction. From 1997 to 2004, Bob was at the College of William and Mary. While there, he was the principal investigator on a large faculty development grant that built technology partnerships across K-12 public schools. Dr. Hannafin began his career in higher education at Auburn University, where he was an assistant professor from 1995 to 1997.

Earlier in his career, Dr. Hannafin served as an instructional designer and trainer at Intel Corporation and as a mathematics and accounting teacher at Salesian High School in New Rochelle. He also served as vice president of a major bank in New York City.

Dr. Hannafin received a B.S. in accounting from St. Francis College, an MBA in finance from Fordham University, and a Ph.D. in psychology in education from Arizona State University.

Dr. Meredith Wallace Kazer

Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies

Dr. Meredith Wallace Kazer completed her BSN degree Magna Cum Laude at Boston University. Following this, she earned an MSN in medical-surgical nursing with a specialty in geriatrics from Yale University and a PhD in nursing research and theory development at New York University. During her time at NYU she was awarded a pre-doctoral fellowship at the Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing. In this capacity she became the original author and editor of Try This: Best Practices in Geriatric Nursing series. In 2001, she won the Springer Publishing Company Award for Applied Nursing Research. She was the Managing Editor of the Journal of Applied Nursing Research and is currently the research brief editor for the journal. Dr. Kazer is the author of numerous journal articles and book chapters. She published Prostate Cancer: Nursing Assessment Management and Care which won an American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year Award. Preceding this, she was the Associate Editor of The Geriatric Nursing Research Digest, and the second edition of the Encyclopedia of Nursing Research published and edited a case studies book for advanced practice, all of which won American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year Awards. She is a recipient of the Eastern Nursing Research Society/John A. Hartford Foundation junior investigator award. She is an adult and gerontological primary care nurse practitioner and currently maintains a practice with a focus on chronic illness in older adults.

Dr. Richard Greenwald

College of Arts and Sciences

Dr. Greenwald serves as the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Fairfield University. After an extensive national search, Dr. Greenwald joined Fairfield on July 1, 2017 from Brooklyn College CUNY where he served as the Dean of the School of Humanities & Social Sciences.

Dr. Greenwald has a strong background in liberal arts education, in both public and private institutions. Before serving as Dean at Brooklyn College, he was an executive dean at St. Joseph’s College in New York, and the Chair and Founding Director of the Business Students Program and Director of University Partnerships at Drew University, among many other appointments. He has been a teacher of history, business and sociology since 1995, and received his PhD in American History from New York University in 1998 – a degree that added to his existing Masters from NYU and a Bachelors degree in history, with honors, from Queens College, CUNY.

Named by the Chronicle of Higher Education as one of the leading “higher-education thought leaders,” Dr. Greenwald’s extensive scholarship and writings have been published in major national outlets including Inside Higher Education, the Wall Street Journal, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Boston Globe, and New York Daily News, among others.

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