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MEMO: Appointment of Interim Dean for Education and Social Sciences

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Category: Need to Know

Published: Nov 22 2017 12:00AM

Montgomery College
Office of the Vice President and Provost, Rockville Campus

To: Montgomery College Community
From: Dr. Kimberly Kelley, Vice President and Provost, Arts, Business, Education, English, and Social Sciences and Rockville Campus
Subject: Announcement of Appointment of Interim Dean for Education and Social Sciences
Date: November 20, 2017

Good afternoon,

It is my pleasure to announce the appointment of Dr. Eric Benjamin as Interim Dean for Education and Social Sciences, beginning December 2, 2017.

Dr. Benjamin earned a PhD in Counseling Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin and brings expertise in several key areas: content, leading student success initiatives, and research. Dr. Benjamin has taught in the discipline for 16 years, and has been a faculty associate with Johns Hopkins University for nine years. At Montgomery College he has taught Introduction to Psychology, Human Growth and Development, Abnormal Psychology, Personality Psychology, College Survival and Study Skills Development. He held appointments at Riverside Hospital in Washington, DC, as the director of clinical care and the staff psychologist.

He has extensive research experience with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, where he was a senior research associate, and centered on understanding student success by applying non-cognitive predictors of student success for the training of educators. As an investigator for Project Inspiration with Johns Hopkins University, he constructed social and academic interventions for at-risk elementary and middle school students. As department chair, Dr. Benjamin has been instrumental in developing new and innovative approaches to accelerate student success and support the goals of the Academic Master Plan, including supporting the development of the CREATE cohort in early childhood education, and successfully launching open educational resources (OERs) in psychology to reduce student costs and time-to-degree. Student success has long been part of what Dr. Benjamin has sought to achieve, and his efforts will continue in this role.

He has worked with Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) to implement institutional interventions and evaluation programs addressing the achievement gap, and has presented workshops as part of this effort. More recently, he was instrumental in developing a proposal to collaborate with MCPS to offer support staff the opportunity to become classroom teachers. He has published in national journals including Applied and Preventive Psychology, Society for Applied Sociology, and E-Journal for Teaching and Learning in Diverse Settings, and has presented at events including the American Psychological Association and Diversity 2000. He was also an editorial board member for the Journal of College Student Development for four years, during which time he evaluated articles for current relevance, social validity, and contributions to field.

His service to the College has been impressive: numerous committee assignments, he has served as the faculty co-advisor and mentor for the Montgomery Scholars, Montgomery College Athletics Program, and coordinated the Project Success mentoring programs. He currently serves as the chair for the Psychology, Teacher Training, and Early Childhood Education Department. He also serves as co-chair of the Self-Study Steering Committee for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education re-accreditation process, having previously served as co-chair of the Periodic Review in 2013.

I look forward to a successful transition and to Dr. Benjamin's leadership in the implementation of the Academic Master Plan and the rest of the College's student success efforts. I'd also like to take a moment to acknowledge Dr. Darrin Campen's service to the College and wish him well in his new role of Associate Provost for Piedmont Technical College beginning in January.

I thank all of you who participated in this process and provided feedback. Your contributions have been invaluable to me. There will be a national search for the permanent replacement, the details of which will be forthcoming.

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