Mark Laughlin named Dean of GSW College of Arts and Sciences

Published 10:54 pm Thursday, March 9, 2023

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By Chelsea Collins

AMERICUS — Mark Laughlin, D.M.A., has been named dean of the Georgia Southwestern State University (GSW) College of Arts and Sciences after serving as interim dean since July 2022. Laughlin’s new role is effective immediately.

“I am honored to have the privilege of serving as the next Dean of GSW’s College of Arts and Sciences,” said Laughlin. “I look forward to continuing my work with all institution and community stakeholders to expand our interdisciplinary collaborations, and support our continued experiential learning and career-ready opportunities throughout the region. Together, we will strive to inspire the next generation of critical thinkers, problem-solvers, and leaders who will shape our community and the world for the better.”

As a member of the GSW faculty since August 2008, Laughlin previously served as a professor of music, chair of the Department of Music, Communication, and Emerging Media, and most recently interim associate dean for the College of Arts and Sciences.

“I am excited for both Dr. Laughlin and the College of Arts and Sciences as they will continue to thrive under his leadership,” said GSW Provost Suzanne Smith, Ph.D., when she made the announcement to GSW faculty and staff. “His commitment to student-centered teaching and service to his department, GSW, and the local community is commendable. He has the leadership skills needed to work with all departments as they continue to focus on student success. I look forward to seeing what they will achieve together in the years to come.”

Laughlin is currently participating in the University System of Georgia’s 2022-2023 Executive Leadership Institute after being nominated and selected for the comprehensive program designed to enhance leadership skills and prepare participants for advanced and cabinet-level leadership positions.

In addition to his work at GSW, Laughlin serves as a peer reviewer in the music division for the Oxford University Press, an arts and sciences academic advisory committee member and eCore new faculty mentor for the University System of Georgia, an editorial board member for The Frances Clark Center for Keyboard Pedagogy, among other committees.

“I am confident in Dr. Laughlin’s ability to lead and take GSW’s College of Arts and Sciences to the next level,” stated GSW President Neal Weaver, Ph.D. “With the new Communication and Emerging Media degree and upcoming changes to the Chemistry program, there is already exciting momentum building. He has excelled in moving the College of Arts and Sciences forward on multiple fronts.”

Laughlin holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of North Alabama, a Master of Science from Georgia College and State University, a Master of Education from Georgia Southern University, a Master of Music from the University of Memphis, and a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies from Clayton State University. He earned his Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of South Carolina.

The dean search committee, chaired by Sandra Daniel, dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, included College of Arts and Sciences faculty and staff members: Monique Daniels, senior administrative assistant to the dean; Ashley Jones, assistant professor of communication; Debra Palmer, associate professor of psychology; Samuel Peavy, professor of geophysics and environmental geology; Jennifer Ryer, lecturer of English; Brian Smith, professor of political science; Manoj Thapa, associate professor of mathematics; and Charles Wells, professor of art.