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Gabie Smith named dean of Elon College, the College of Arts and Sciences

A professor of psychology with extensive experience managing programs across the university, Smith will lead a college of 19 departments, more than 20 programs, and 260 full-time faculty.

Professor Gabie Smith, dean of Elon College, the College of Arts and Sciences

Elon University Professor Gabie Smith has been named dean of Elon College, the College of Arts and Sciences, following a national search.

Smith had served as interim dean of the college for nearly two years and assumes the permanent position effective immediately. An accomplished scholar on the psychologies of health and human sexuality, she brings to the position a wealth of institutional knowledge and a history of assuming progressively more responsible campus leadership roles.

Since joining the Elon University faculty in 2000, Smith has coordinated the Women’s, Gender, and Sexualities Studies program, chaired the Department of Psychology, served as associate dean of Elon College, and, most recently, led the college as interim dean.

At the same time, Smith has written or contributed to dozens of peer-reviewed presentations and publications on topics ranging from women’s alcohol use, psychological perceptions of illness conditions, and the scholarship of teaching and studying abroad, among other areas of research.

“Dr. Gabie Smith is one of Elon’s most distinguished teacher-scholar-mentors and has deservedly earned the highest levels of respect by her students and colleagues,” said Steven House, provost and executive vice president at Elon University. “Her knowledge of campus, her vision for the future of the arts and sciences, and her accomplished leadership as interim dean make her the right person to take Elon College to even greater levels of success.”

Smith will continue the work she started as interim dean to create a vision for the college that not only reflects Elon’s distinctive institutional characteristics but also addresses national issues facing studies in the arts and sciences. Over the past two years, she has contributed to meetings and seminars organized for academic deans by the Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences and partnered with colleagues at an Association of American Colleges and Universities’ institute on integrative learning in the arts and sciences.

“I am delighted to be selected to serve as the dean of Elon College, the College of Arts and Sciences, and look forward to joining with faculty, students and staff to build on our tradition of academic excellence and many past accomplishments,” Smith said. “Elon College is much more than a collection of departments – it is a vibrant community of learners. It is an honor to have the opportunity to work with the Elon College community in advocating for the needs of our students and programs while deepening collaborations both within the college and across campus.”

Smith oversees a college of 19 departments, more than 20 programs, and 260 full-time faculty. Elon College shelters a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the oldest and most prestigious academic honor society in the United States; graduates approximately 670 arts and sciences majors annually; and provides the Elon Core Curriculum for all of Elon University’s undergraduate students.

Smith has served in a variety of institutional and professional service roles, including chair of the Academic Council Task Force on the Evaluation of Teaching and co-chair of the Presidential Advisory Council on Sexual Assault & Gender Issues. She has served on the Committee on Online Education Policies, the Social Science Curriculum Committee, the Public Health Advisory Committee, the Strategic Planning Committee, and the Voices on Diversity lecture series and the Interdisciplinary Committee on Course-Based Alcohol Education.  

Smith has also chaired the Undergraduate Research Program Advisory Committee, the Student Life Committee, the Psychology Department Search Committee, and she co-chaired the Student Undergraduate Research Forum Committee.

Prior to joining the Elon faculty, Smith served as an assistant professor at Frostburg State University in Maryland, where she won a Faculty Achievement Award in Teaching. She had previously taught psychology at Iowa State University and Des Moines Area Community College.

Smith earned her undergraduate degree in psychology from North Carolina State University in 1989. She completed a master’s program in general psychology two years later at Wake Forest University before earning her doctorate in social psychology at Iowa State University.


Eric Townsend,
12/8/2015 11:00 AM