UMES names dean of graduate studies
PRINCESS ANNE (Feb. 11, 2011) – For the past three years, Dr. Jennifer Keane-Dawes has served as interim leader of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore’s graduate school.
Now, Keane-Dawes is proud to continue in that role after university President Thelma B. Thompson made history by officially naming her dean of the School of Graduate Studies following a national search.
“I’m the first black and first woman to serve as the graduate dean at UMES,” she said.
Keane-Dawes, who has nine years of experience as a dean, already has made her mark at the graduate school, which U.S. News & World Report featured consecutively in its “A-Z List of Best Graduate/Education Schools” from 2008-2010. She also presided over the highest number of graduate students to be enrolled and the most doctoral degrees awarded in the university’s history. She pioneered the introduction of the Professional Science Master’s (PSM) degree in quantitative fisheries making UMES the first HBCU in Maryland and the second in the nation to offer a PSM degree.
“With support, I would like us to become a Graduate School of Distinction and position ourselves to obtain the Carnegie Doctoral Research Classification for UMES,” she said of the widely recognized educational classification framework.
As dean, Keane-Dawes oversees 17 graduate programs as well as strategic planning for the school. Additionally, she plays the lead role in identifying funding opportunities and collaborates to acquire grants from external-funding agencies to support the school. Keane-Dawes also strives to improve student recruitment, retention and graduation.
Keane-Dawes – an American with Jamaican roots – holds a bachelor’s degree in arts and general studies from the University of the West Indies, a master’s degree in communication arts and a doctorate in intercultural communication from Howard University.
“I studied communication and the arts because they are open windows through which the human spirit might escape to express itself,” said Keane-Dawes, who also serves as a professor in the Department of English and Modern Languages at UMES.
She is a fellow of the Organization of American States (OAS) and an alumna of Harvard’s Institutional Educational Management Program.
An award-winning international journalist and television program producer, her publications include three books and numerous indigenous literary essays.
Keane-Dawes’ work has received accolades from several agencies including Literary VoYces of Jamaica, the United States Information Service/Voice of America and the Hampton Roads Black Media Association. It was also highlighted in an exhibit by the Anacostia Division of the Smithsonian Institution on outstanding immigrants in the United States.
Keane-Dawes resides in Salisbury. Her only child, Thomas Jermaine Keane-Dawes, is a senior, Thurgood Marshall Scholar and record-breaking track athlete at UMES.
Candice Latshaw, UMES Office of Public Relations, 410-651-6669, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bill Robinson, UMES Office of Public Relations, 410-621-2355, email@example.com.