Southeast Names Five New Department Chairs

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Five academic departments at Southeast Missouri State University will have new chairs when the summer and fall 2020 terms begin.

The new leadership and the departments they will chair are: Dr. Tim Judd, Department of Biology; Dr. Dan Daly, Department of Mathematics; Dr. Tamara Zellars Buck, Department of Mass Media; Dr. Jayanti Ray, Department of Communication Disorders; and Dr. Leslie Pace, Department of Communication Studies and Modern Languages.

Dr. Tim Judd

“We are extremely excited and pleased to welcome several new permanent department chairs to our academic affairs leadership team,” said Dr. Mike Godard, Southeast provost. “I have the utmost confidence and each of these individuals to lead their respective academic units. Our chairs play an integral role at the University and I know that Drs. Judd, Daly, Buck, Ray and Pace are up for the challenge that awaits them.”

Judd will replace Dr. James Champine who is stepping down as chair of the department to return to a teaching role as a professor of biology. Judd, who assumes his new role July 1, is in his 17th year in the Department of Biology, where he has served as a professor of biology, teaching zoology, invertebrate zoology, animal behavior, entomology, and cell and organismal biology. He holds a doctoral degree in zoology from Colorado State University; a Master of Science in biology from Oakland University; and Bachelor of Science in biology, neurobiology and animal behavior from Cornell University.

Dr. Dan Daly

Daly has been serving as interim chair of the Department of Mathematics since January 2018 when Dr. Tamela Randolph who previously served as chair was appointed interim provost and now serves as dean of the College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Daly’s new role takes effect Aug. 1. He came to Southeast in 2009 and has served as associate professor of mathematics, teaching Precalculus, Calculus, Foundations of Mathematics, Modern Algebra, Mathematical Programming, Mathematical Problem Solving, and Combinatorics. He holds a doctoral degree in mathematics and computer science; a Master of Science in mathematics; and Bachelor of Science in computer science, all from the University of Denver.

Dr. Tamara Zellars Buck

Buck will replace Dr. Pam Parry who is stepping down as chair of the department to return to a teaching role as professor of public relations. Buck, who assumes her new role Aug. 1, is in her 19th year at Southeast, serving as faculty advisor to the Arrow, the student newspaper at Southeast, multimedia journalism coordinator and professor of journalism. She holds a juris doctorate from the University of Memphis; and a Master of Science in Administration specializing in public administration and Bachelor of Arts in mass communication, both from Southeast.

Dr. Jayanti Ray

Ray has been serving as interim chair of the Department of Communication Disorders since former chair, Dr. Marcia Brown Haims, retired last May. Ray’s new role is effective July 1. She came to Southeast in 2004 and has served most recently as a professor teaching Phonetics, Voice Disorders, Neurogenic Speech Disorders, Augmentative and Alternative Communication, Neuroscience for Communication Disorders, and undergraduate and graduate practicum courses. She holds a doctoral degree from Bhavnagar University; and Master of Science and Bachelor of Science degrees, both from University of Mysore.

Pace will replace Dr. Christopher Rieger as chair of the Department of Communication Studies and Modern Languages. Rieger has been serving as interim department chair following the retirement of Dr. Glen Williams in 2019.

Dr. Leslie Pace

Pace joins Southeast from the University of Louisiana at Monroe, where she has been serving as program coordinator of communication and associate professor in the School of Humanities. She previously served as interim associate director of the School of Humanities, and began her career in higher education in 2004 as an assistant professor at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. She holds a doctoral degree in rhetoric and philosophy of communication from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale and a master’s degree in communication from Texas State University. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in speech communication from Southeast. Her new role is effective Aug. 1.

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