Debra A. Moddelmog has been named dean of the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Nevada, Reno. Moddelmog comes to Nevada from Ohio State University where she served as professor and chair of the Department of English.
During her 29-year career at Ohio State, she served in a number of administrative roles, including associate dean of humanities as well as director of the Diversity and Identity Studies Collective at OSU (DISCO), which she also helped to found. In 2002, she established an interdisciplinary program in Sexuality Studies for which she was the principal coordinator and co-adviser for more than a dozen years.
In addition to leading one of the country's largest English departments at Ohio State, Moddelmog put sexuality studies (which examines human sexuality in personal, historical, legal, political, societal, and cultural contexts) on the map at Ohio State, now one of the top schools in the country for this discipline of study. Another of her contributions is the formation of DISCO, an inter-disciplinary and university-wide collective that coordinates and fosters collaboration between departments and academic programs, such as American Indian, Asian American, African & African American, Disability, Comparative Ethnic, Latino/Latina, Sexuality, and Women's Studies.
"I am delighted to welcome Debra to our team," Kevin Carman, the University's executive vice president and provost, said. "She brings extensive leadership experience as well as progressive efforts and expertise in diversity, gender and sexual studies, that will no doubt contribute and advance our campus dialogue, understanding and appreciation of our complex world."
Moddelmog is also a scholar and teacher of 20th-century American literature, modernism and sexuality studies, and one of the foremost experts in the world on the writings of Ernest Hemingway. She serves on the advisory editorial board for both the Hemingway letters project (Cambridge University Press) and The Hemingway Review.
"I am thrilled to be joining the University of Nevada, Reno at this time of exciting growth and new aspirations for both the College of Liberal Arts and the University," Moddelmog, who starts her new position August 15, 2016, said. "I am looking forward to working with my colleagues within the College to continue the ongoing work of building a strong, dynamic, diverse and interdisciplinary college that will prepare students for post-graduation success, as well as foster creative work and innovative research."
Moddelmog received her doctorate degree in English from The Pennsylvania State University, her masters in English from Auburn University and her bachelors in journalism from Georgia Southern College.
She has published four books, one of which has been translated into Japanese, and more than 25 essays. During her time at OSU, she received a number of awards for her contributions to her department and university, including the Marlene B. Longenecker Award for Teaching and Service in the Department of English, the Ohio State Distinguished Diversity Enhancement Award (the university's highest honor for diversity work) and the College of Humanities Diversity Enhancement Award.