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Welcoming New Leadership in the College

October 27, 2015

As the College of Arts and Sciences continues to grow, so does our need for forward-thinking leadership roles to address increasing demands and opportunities in our College, our community and abroad. Please join us in welcoming the following faculty to these newly created roles:

Ira Taffer, PhD
Ira Taffer, PhD

Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs

Ira Taffer, PhD, has been appointed associate dean for faculty affairs. As the College has grown, so has the size of our faculty and the issues that impact them. In this new role, Taffer will work alongside Dean Murasko to ensure faculty matters are resolved quickly and efficiently. Taffer has served as interim head of the Department of Chemistry for the last two years. He received his bachelor’s and doctoral degree in chemistry from Drexel and went on to co-found BIOMOL Research Laboratories, Inc., for which he served as vice president and COO for over 20 years. Most recently, he served as vice president of global sales operations for Enzo Life Sciences International Inc., which had acquired BIOMOL in 2008. Taffer has been an active and highly valued member of the Drexel community for many years, serving on the CoAS Advisory Board since 2000, and as an elected member of Drexel’s Alumni Board of Governors since 2004. From 2013-2015, he served as chair of the Alumni Board and as a member of Drexel’s Board of Trustees.

Cyndi Rickards, EdD
Cyndi Rickards, EdD

Senior Assistant Dean for Community Engagement

Cyndi Rickards, EdD, has been appointed senior assistant dean for community engagement. In this new role, she will support and promote the College's commitment to community engagement and scholarship, guiding faculty in the development of community-based courses, acting as liaison to community partnerships and centers, coordinating curricular and co-curricular initiatives, and hosting training workshops for internal and external audiences, among other activities. Rickards is currently an assistant teaching professor in the Department of Criminology and Justice Studies and has served as the coordinator of community outreach for two years. She regularly teaches Community-Based-Learning (CBL) courses, and in 2012, she founded the Side-By-Side Community-Based-Learning format. Her current research examines the acquisition of 21st-century skills as a result of civic learning and democratic engagement.

Simone Schlichting-Artur, EdD
Simone Schlichting-Artur, EdD

Senior Assistant Dean of Global Initiatives

Simone Schlichting-Artur, EdD, has been appointed senior assistant dean of global initiatives. In her new role, she will serve as a liaison to departments to maximize the global initiatives of the College, including growing global classroom partnerships; ensuring consistency in programming, such as the funding and curricular criteria for travel courses; and working to expand international co-op opportunities across the College. For 13 years, Schlichting-Artur has directed the Modern Languages program and taught extensively all levels of German, as well as intercultural communication. Based on her research focus on global learning environments, she has designed and taught global classrooms in partnership with universities in China, Germany and the UK, and developed assessment tools for intercultural competence. Schlichting-Artur is the recipient of the 2012 Harold B. Myers Award for Outstanding Service and has served on many University committees, most recently on the President’s Task Force for Global Citizenship.