Maura B. Mast, PhD, an associate professor of mathematics and special assistant to the Office of the Provost at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, has been appointed dean of Fordham College at Rose Hill, effective August 2015.
Mast has served at UMass Boston since 2009, beginning as an associate vice provost for undergraduate studies. She holds a doctorate in mathematics from the University of North Carolina and earned her bachelor’s degree, cum laude, in mathematics and anthropology from the University of Notre Dame.
Mast’s area of research is differential geometry with a focus on understanding geodesics, which is the geometry of curved surfaces. She is the author of numerous peer-reviewed publications and is a national leader in quantitative reasoning research and scholarship, with federal grant support for course development and assessment. Her textbook on quantitative reasoning, Common Sense Mathematics, will be published this year by the Mathematical Association of America.
She is also a strong supporter of the participation of women and girls in mathematics at all levels. She has served as secretary and executive board member of the Association for Women in Mathematics.
Stephen Freedman, PhD, provost of Fordham and professor of evolutionary biology, said that Mast’s experience as both a researcher and administrator made her an ideal pick to lead the University’s oldest and largest college, which was first established in 1841.
As special assistant to the provost, Mast worked with academic departments to assess student learning outcomes, served on the self‐study re‐accreditation team, and enhanced support for international student populations and international research opportunities.
As associate vice provost for undergraduate studies, she oversaw the university’s general education program and its assessment. She collaborated with deans and faculty leaders to expand UMass Boston’s academic programs to be more global, interdisciplinary, and innovative.
Freedman said that Catholic higher education played a key role in Mast’s formation as a student, teacher, researcher, and administrator. As a 2012-2013 Fellow of the American Council on Education, she sought out senior leaders at Catholic colleges and universities across the county to discuss contemporary Catholic higher education.
“She is deeply committed to working with Fordham faculty, students, and staff in the further development of an academic vision for liberal education that is grounded in the Jesuit, Catholic identity of the University,” Freedman said.
Mast will succeed John P. Harrington, PhD, who has served as interim dean of Fordham College at Rose Hill since July 2014.