April 18, 2012

Education-Human Services dean finalists to visit

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The three finalists for the position of dean of the College of Education and Human Services at Southern Illinois University Carbondale will meet with constituents during a series of public forums beginning April 24. 

The candidates are:  Charles M.V. Arokiasamy, director of the Center for Disability Innovation and professor in the counseling, special education and rehabilitation department at California State University in Fresno; Robert J. Spina, chair of the human movement sciences department and professor in the College of Education at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va.; and Keith B. Wilson, professor of counselor education and rehabilitation education at Pennsylvania State University in University Park. 

The dean is the chief academic and administrative officer for the college and reports to the provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs. The dean is responsible for strategic planning and program development, faculty development, internal planning and budgeting information, recruitment and retention efforts and resource enhancement through fundraising and increasing external grants.

The forums, which will include presentations by the candidates, will give University students, faulty and staff the opportunity to meet with the candidates, ask questions, and hear about the finalists’ proposed approaches to the dean’s position.  The forums are a component of the interview process for the position. 

All three of the candidate presentations will take place in the John C. Guyon Auditorium at Morris Library.  The forum schedule is:

            •  Arokiasamy -- April 24 from 11 a.m. to noon

            •  Spina -- April 27 from 10:40 to 11:40 a.m.

            •  Wilson -- May 2 from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.

Arokiasamy is a three-degree graduate of SIU Carbondale, earning his doctorate in rehabilitation in 1988, his master’s in rehabilitation counseling in 1984 and his bachelor’s with double majors of psychology and journalism in 1982.  He is also a certified case manager, national certified counselor and certified rehabilitation counselor.

Prior to becoming director of the Center for Disability Innovation in 2009, Arokiasamy was professor and department chair and previously program coordinator for the Rehabilitation Counseling Program at California State University.  During his time at the college, beginning in 1996, he has taught, administered $6.25 million in federal grants along with eight state and county contracts, conducted research, supervised and mentored faulty and staff, managed the center and five clinics and more.  Since 2000 he has served as an accreditation site visitor for the Council on Rehabilitation Education and as chief operations officer for the National Council on Rehabilitation Education 2000-2004 and 2006-2010.

Arokiasamy’s previous experience also includes three years as assistant professor in rehabilitation counseling at Louisiana State University Medical Center in New Orleans along with several positions at SIU Carbondale and the Center for Comprehensive Services in Carbondale.  He was director of program evaluation, case manager/client advocate, program evaluator and activity therapist for the Center for Comprehensive Services and his University employment includes time as adjunct faculty and as a teaching assistant.  He has prior experience as a substance abuse worker, job coach/vocational evaluator and in the newspaper business.

With numerous books, chapters and articles to his credit, Arokiasamy has also made many presentations at conferences and other venues and acquired dozens of grants totaling millions of dollars for rehabilitation counseling training, programs and assessments and other similar work.  He has played active roles in a variety of professional organizations including serving as chief operating officer for the National Council on Rehabilitation Education 2008-2010 and has won a variety of national and state honors, including the 2009 Rehabilitation Educator of the Year award from the National Council on Rehabilitation Education. 

Spina completed his doctorate in health, physical and recreation education at the University of Pittsburgh in 1988, his master’s at Queens College at City University of New York in health and physical education in 1982, and his bachelor’s in physical education at C.W. Post College of Long Island University in 1979. 

He obtained his current position at Old Dominion University in 2006, heading a department with more than 1,100 human movement sciences majors.  He previously served as professor, department chair and graduate coordinator for the kinesiology department and as associate dean and graduate coordinator for the College of Health and Human Services at San Francisco State University. 

Previous experience includes time as provost research enhancement professor at the University of Central Florida In Orlando, associate professor of kinesiology and health education at the University of Texas at Austin, and medical research associate professor, assistant professor and instructor at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.  He was also a post-doctoral research fellow and a research and graduate teaching assistant.

In addition to teaching and publishing extensively, particularly involving exercise sciences, Spina has made many national presentations and is a site visitor for the Committee on Accreditation for Exercise Sciences, Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs and state representative for the Virginia/National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education Reviews. 

Spina is active in professional societies and organizations and has acquired grants totaling millions of dollars involving primarily exercise and the elderly.  He has served in campus organizations and won several awards including the 1987 Institutional National Research Service Award AG-00078 from the National Institute on Aging National Institutes of Health.

Wilson completed his doctorate of philosophy in education at The Ohio State University in Columbus in 1997 and post-doctoral studies in the Management Development Program, Institutes for Higher Education at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., in 2007.  He also holds a master’s in rehabilitation counseling from Kent State University in Ohio (1985), and a 1984 bachelor’s degree in rehabilitation services from Wilberforce University in Wilberforce, Ohio.

Wilson has served in his current position at Pennsylvania State University since 1997 and also served as director of the Africana Research Center at the university 2006-2008.  He was previously the program chair of rehabilitation programs from 2002 to 2006.  He has held the ranks of full professor, associate professor and assistant professor at the university.  Wilson has also been in private practice in counseling, consultation and psychotherapy services in State College, Pa., since 2004. 

His experience includes graduate assistant and college research intern work and he was director of counseling services for Brewton-Parker College in Mount Vernon, Ga., psychotherapist (consultant) for the Mel Blount Youth Home of Georgia in Vidalia, Ga., counseling coordinator/psychometrist for Savannah State University, and case manager/volunteer for Tidelands Mental Health Agency in Savannah. 

In addition to teaching and research, Wilson developed, implemented and evaluated mentor programs at Brewton-Parker College and Savannah State University.  He has earned awards for service, research and more, including the Outstanding Researcher Award from the Pennsylvania Counseling Association in 2002 and 2000, and the Outstanding Faculty Award from the Pennsylvania State University College of Education in 2003. He has administrative experience in institutions ranging from enrollment of about 700 to about 65,000.

Wilson has clinic experience at several locations and has published extensively on various topics in the field of rehabilitation, focusing often on vocational rehabilitation, cultural/diversity factors, and student recruitment.  He has also served on editorial review boards, co-edited journals and made numerous professional presentations and is active in community, university and professional organization service.