Beyond Boundaries with the New Associate Dean

Submitted by Sheena Malhotra

Sheena MalhotraPhoto courtesy of Lee Chou

I am thrilled to be joining the team in the Dean's office as the Associate Dean, beginning in Fall 2017. This position will give me opportunities to work collaboratively with faculty across departments and programs on curriculum development and scheduling, as well as building innovative programs. Among other responsibilities (such as supervising assessment, grants, and centers in the college), the Associate Dean aids the Dean in her vision for the strategic plan. It is the kind of leadership role I am passionate about because I believe strongly in the mission of our college and want to be part of the conversations that move it forward. Our college mission values a diversity of cultures and perspectives while teaching students to be critical, responsible, and participatory global citizens committed to the principles of freedom, equality, and justice for all. To me, the heart and soul of our college are those students and our faculty, whose teaching and research are inspiring. Since our students come from a range of intersecting and diverse backgrounds, my own lived experiences as an immigrant, queer person of color from a multi-religious background will allow me to reach across various boundaries to serve.

I have been part of the College of Humanities as a faculty member in Gender and Women's Studies since 2000. Over the past 17 years, I have worked in various leadership roles across the college and helped develop interdisciplinary curriculum for new programs such as the Queer Studies minor and the MA in Humanities. I served as the first Coordinator of the Queer Studies minor and worked closely with the Queer Studies committee to create Rainbow Graduation, making it accessible to all queer CSUN students and their allies. For four years I served as Chair of the Department of Gender and Women's Studies, which strives as part of its mission to interrogate injustice and inequalities that persist in our society. I have worked as the Academic Director for the MA in Humanities program for the past five years, shepherding it to become a fully on line program so we could reach more students. As an active feminist scholar with an emphasis in media, I bring industry experience to bear on my schol­arly analyses across various sites of culture. In short, I love and am committed to interdisciplinary approaches and working across intersectionality to create programs and curricula that support, feature, and foster our faculty while meeting the needs of our students.