Magazine On-line [summer 2012]
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Barbara LoMOnaco

LoMonaco heads up student life administration changes

Anthropology professor Barbara LoMonaco became vice president for student affairs and dean of students on July 1. She continues as a voting member of the faculty and will teach one or two courses per year.

In addition, Michael Covert ’91, Robert Brown, and Wilson Dickinson ’02 were named to key positions in student life.

LoMonaco came to Transylvania in 1996 after earning her B.A. in philosophy and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees, both in cultural anthropology, from Southern Methodist University. During her tenure at Transylvania, an anthropology major was added to the curriculum.

LoMonaco’s extensive faculty service record includes a number of positions directly related to student life, including her membership on the Alcohol Task Force, Judicial Council (chair), Selection Committee for Student Orientation Leaders, Transylvania Scholarship Committee (chair), Sexual Grievances Judicial Board, and Delta Delta Delta First-Year Woman Award Selection Committee.

“I am delighted that Barbara has accepted this key position,” said President R. Owen Williams. “She is a one-person nuclear power plant who will completely transform the face of student affairs on our campus. From her earliest days at Transylvania, Barbara has been heavily involved in student life. She has an excellent rapport with students as advisor and mentor, and I am sure she will bring energy and dedication to her new role.”

LoMonaco said she has ideas for initiatives in several areas of student life, including community service, leadership training, campus recreation, and social and wellness programming.

“I want to continue to tie students to the community through service projects and to create more sustained activities so that we have semester-long involvement,” she said. “I’d like to see service permeate all aspects of campus, and tie that to leadership development.

“I think we are on the verge of wonderful changes at Transylvania over the next few years through our campus planning and other strategic planning initiatives. The timing for me to assume this new position could not be better in terms of thinking about new opportunities.”

• • •

Michael CovertMichael Covert ’91 became associate vice president for retention and associate dean of students on July 1. His prior Transylvania positions were associate dean of students and director of retention programs, assistant dean of students, and coordinator of student life and financial aid services.

“Michael’s 16 years of experience in student life at Transylvania will serve him well in his new position,” said vice president for student affairs and dean of students Barbara LoMonaco. “Retention of the outstanding students who come to Transylvania and the introduction of August term are critically important, and Michael has the perfect background to lead in these areas.”

Covert earned a B.A. in psychology from Transylvania, a master of science in college student personnel administration from Indiana University, and a Ph.D. in educational policy studies and evaluation from the University of Kentucky. Before coming to Transylvania in 1996, he held student life positions at Washington University in Saint Louis and Indiana University.

“August term is a very innovative first-year experience for our students, and I’m looking forward to working with faculty members, staff, and student leaders to make it a success, and to enhancing our overall university retention efforts,” Covert said.

• • •

Wilson DickinsonT. Wilson Dickinson ’02 became associate dean for religious life on July 7. He was a visiting professor of philosophy at Transylvania the past academic year and is an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

“Transylvania is committed to enabling students to know and experience the history and practices of various religious traditions and to interact with people of other faiths and practices,” said President R. Owen Williams. “This position provides another element in our attempt to shape proactive leaders in today’s diverse world.”

Dickinson will promote spiritual development, theological reflection, and social awareness on campus. He will serve as chaplain for the campus community, advisor for student religious organizations, and liaison between the university and the various religious bodies of central Kentucky.

He earned a B.A. in philosophy from Transylvania, a master of divinity degree from Vanderbilt University, and a Ph.D. in religion from Syracuse University. He is the co-founder of Young Adult Ecumenical Forum and was a worship leader at the Fayette County (Ky.) Detention Center the past year.

“I anticipate that a synergy will develop between the experiential components of my teaching, student immersion experiences, and regular meetings such as quiet reflections, lunch discussions, and service projects,” Dickinson said.

• • •

Bob BrownRobert Brown became associate dean for student affairs on July 1. He came to Transylvania in 2001 as assistant director of residence life and became director of residence life in 2005.

His new responsibilities include residence life, student involvement and leadership, judicial affairs, community service and civic engagement, and the William T. Young Campus Center. He will be involved in refining the university’s student affairs policies, supporting general student needs, and planning for future construction.

“This is a much deserved progression in Bob’s Transylvania career,” said vice president for student affairs and dean of students Barbara LoMonaco. “He will now have the opportunity to use the student life skills he has demonstrated over the past decade in a number of new areas.”

Brown earned a bachelor of science degree in mathematics from the University of Kentucky and a master of science in higher education and student affairs administration from Indiana University.

For additional student life changes, go to

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