Roberts Wesleyan College has appointed four new deans to its leadership team for the 2022-2023 academic year: Elvera B. Berry will serve as dean of the School of Arts and Humanities, Laura Falco as dean of the School of Business, and Kristen Driskill and Brenda McQuillan as co-deans for the School of Education and Social Work. All deans assumed their roles on July 1, 2022.
“When appointing new deans, we look for faculty with a proven track record of academic excellence and who have displayed leadership potential,” said Dave Basinger, chief academic officer at Roberts Wesleyan College. “Drs. Berry, Falco, Driskill and McQuillan are not only well-respected by students and faculty in their field of work, but they have also demonstrated the vision and integrity it takes to lead their respective teams, grow Roberts’ academic offerings and foster continued student success for years to come.”
Dr. Berry, Professor of Communication, has served in a variety of academic and leadership roles during her 58-year tenure at Roberts Wesleyan. Initially a German instructor, she has taught in Language, Literature and Communication and is Academic Director of Communication as well as Chair of the Department of Integrative Humanities. Berry was instrumental in launching Roberts’ first-year and senior-seminar programs; developed the Communication major; directed the college’s Honors Program for twenty years; and has served faculty in numerous general-education, faculty-development and committee capacities. Engaged in scholarship and active in professional organizations, she received the Spiritan Award for Teaching granted by Duquesne University in recognition of her influence on undergraduate students and the Distinguished Service Award from the Kenneth Burke Society. A graduate of Roberts with a B.A. in German, Berry holds an M.A. in Linguistics and German from the University of Rochester, an M.A. in Speech and Rhetoric from SUNY Brockport and a Ph.D. in Higher Education Philosophy and Rhetoric from the University of Buffalo.
Dr. Falco joined the Roberts School of Business faculty in 2006 after teaching marketing at Anderson University in Indiana while also working in the corporate marketing field for several years. In addition to her role as professor of marketing, Falco serves as the current interim chair of Adult and Graduate Business programs and as Director of the M.S. in Strategic Marketing degree program, roles she will continue to fill. She served as the director of the M.S. Strategic Marketing program from 2014-2019 and consults with local small businesses as time allows. Falco received her B.S. in Business Administration from Houghton University and her M.S. in Management from Roberts Wesleyan College. She also earned her D.B.A. in Marketing from Anderson University.
As co-dean of the School of Education and Social Work, Dr. Driskill will specifically oversee teacher education programs and services within the school. In addition to her deanship, Driskill serves as associate professor of education and chairs the Department of Education, a position she was appointed to in 2019. Prior to joining the faculty at Roberts Wesleyan, Driskill spent many years working in various local and international school districts, specializing in literacy, special education, school improvement, curriculum and instruction. Since arriving at Roberts in 2016, she has led an effort to improve and update various programs and curricula to reflect current teaching practices in the field. Driskill received her B.S. in Elementary Education and Special Education as well as her M.S. in Reading Education from SUNY Geneseo. She also earned her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Curriculum Instruction from the University of Phoenix.
Dr. McQuillan joined the Roberts faculty in 2015 as an associate professor after more than 20 years of experience as a social worker across multiple settings, including school districts, foster care agencies, juvenile detention centers and mental health clinics, among others. In addition to her responsibilities as co-dean of the School of Education and Social Work, McQuillan will continue to serve in her roles as director of the Master of Social Work Program and co-chair of the Department of Social Work. During her time as MSW Program Director, Dr. McQuillan initiated the creation and accreditation of a fully online MSW program that was officially launched in 2021. Outside of the classroom, McQuillan works part time as a therapist for the Justice for Children Advocacy Center, where she provides mental health treatment for children who have experienced significant trauma. She earned her B.A. in Psychology from Nazareth College, a Master’s in Social Work from Roberts Wesleyan College and her Ph.D. in Health Practice Research from the University of Rochester.
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