Danell named dean of ECU’s Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences

Dr. Allison Danell

Dr. Allison Danell, professor of chemistry, has been named dean of East Carolina University’s Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences (THCAS) by the ECU Board of Trustees and the UNC Board of Governors. Danell has served as interim dean of the college since July 2019.

“Dr. Danell has shown her commitment to Pirate Nation as both an educator and a scholar since she arrived on campus,” said ECU Acting Provost Grant Hayes. “She has had a hand in several important endeavors, including the Pharmaceutical Development Center and the Finish in Four initiative. She stepped up in a big way when asked to serve as interim dean of the Harriot College of Arts and Sciences, which plays such an important role in our university’s mission, and I look forward to working with her as she continues to implement a shared vision for the college.”

Danell said she has focused on making connections with faculty and staff across the many disciplines encompassed by the college, and she takes pride in how they have remained focused on their work through the challenges of the past year.

“The sheer scale of the work done in Harriot College continues to amaze me, and I am so thankful to be in a position to support it,” she said. “I enjoy meeting with individuals and small groups, brainstorming how to help move agendas forward even under difficult circumstances and helping to craft a shared narrative that celebrates the liberal arts and sciences and illustrates the impact our alumni make in the world.”

Danell joined ECU’s faculty in 2004. She received her Bachelor of Science in chemistry from Truman State University in 1996 and her doctorate from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2001, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at the Rowland Institute at Harvard. She was promoted to the rank of professor in 2019.

An analytical chemist with expertise in mass spectrometry, she especially enjoys mentoring student researchers and managing projects across interdisciplinary boundaries.

She has been director of undergraduate studies for several years in the Department of Chemistry and served as interim department chair in 2014-15. She also was the lead principal investigator on the $1.1 million Golden LEAF Foundation grant awarded to start the Pharmaceutical Development and Manufacturing Center at ECU with the goal of designing and building a laboratory-based education and training network.

Danell oversees the largest college at ECU, with nearly 5,500 declared undergraduate majors. THCAS encompasses 54 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in 16 academic departments.

She succeeds Dr. William Downs, who served as dean for five years and last year was named the 13th president of Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs. As dean of THCAS, Danell will also have the honorary title of W. Keats Sparrow Distinguished Chair in the Liberal Arts.


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