Mercy College associate provost for faculty affairs aims for new position at Southern

Alexandra ScicchitanoOpinions & Features Editor

Reema Zeineldin is one of four finalists in the university’s quest to fill the open position of associate vice president of Academic Affairs.

Students had the opportunity to interact with finalists in an open forum, to ask questions and to understand why they want this position at the university.

“We’re welcome one of our finalists, Dr. Reema Zeineldin, one of our finalists for the associate vice president of Academic Affairs,” said Robert Smith, an assistant professor of management and member of the search committee who introduced Zeineldin to the audience.

Smith said Zeineldin has a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences from the University of New Mexico and has been a research assistant professor, associate professor, dean and associate provost in past positions and she is the author of six book chapters and 18 journals and is the holder of four U.S. patents. Zeineldin was named the 2012 teacher of the year by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy.

“I’m currently at Mercy College, which is in New York. I’m currently the associate provost for Faculty Affairs,” said Zeineldin. “So, my role there has given me the privilege of various interaction with faculty [in the] shared governance environment and working on many things that are related to faculty affairs.”

Zeineldin said at Mercy College she also works with faculty recruitment, faculty promotions and tenures training. She said she also oversees the Center of Teaching and Learning and tutoring and testing, student evaluations, student academic appeals and specialized programs.

Zeineldin said she was the “starting dean and closing dean” at Mount Ida College as a dean of the School of Applied Sciences prior to Mercy College. She said she has had various interactions with students through teaching in classrooms, along with mentoring, student government, student workers and town hall meetings.

“To me, I look at Southern, [and ask myself] as to ‘why I am pursuing this particular position?’” she said. “I see that it wants to distinguish itself within the system as an institution that is committed to social justice. This is very attractive to me.”

According to Zeineldin, Southern is becoming a hub to biotechnology. She sees that Southern wants to engage in the community. Along with social justice, makes this position she is applying for something she is interested in.

While this forum was mostly for students to ask questions to the candidate, Zeineldin also had the opportunity to ask questions to the attendees, as well.

“I’m curious as to why you chose Southern,” said Zeineldin to the audience. She asked other questions about the university such as about the First Year Experience, the community, commuters and residential lives on campus.

Undecided majors, Janyra Whitemore and Brieanna Arce, both and freshmen, asked Zeineldin what she plans to do for Southern’s campus.

“In my particular role that oversees certain parts in relation to the academic experience for students, [I] would support the students’ success,” said Zeineldin.

One thing Zeineldin said she wants to focus on is the First Year Experience for freshmen. Zeineldin said she can “learn from” students, that respecting the student’s experiences are important and “at the same time provide the right atmosphere for learning and for your success.”

“Something that is really attractive to me,” said Zeineldin, “is that Southern talks about social justice in the open and they’re taking the steps towards the institute of social justice.


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