Dean designate named for Inamori School of Engineering: Dr. Gabrielle Gaustad ’04

I have exciting news to share: we have a terrific dean designate for our Inamori School of Engineering! Dr. Gabrielle Gaustad ’04 will return home to Alfred University as our engineering dean, effective January 1, 2019.

It was a National Science Foundation Young Scholars Institute — a summer session designed to introduce bright and talented high school students to careers in engineering — that first brought Gabby to Alfred University from her hometown in Wyalusing, Pennsylvania, in 1999. She fell in love with engineering, and also with one of the other Young Scholars — Jeff Povelaites ’04 from Rochester. They both enrolled at Alfred University in the fall of 2000, and completed their degrees in ceramic engineering. Then, both headed off to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Jeff earned a master’s degree and Gabby a doctorate in Course III (Materials Science).

Their next stop was Rochester, where Jeff works for Paychex and Gabby became an assistant professor, then associate professor and director of the master’s program for the Golisano Institute for Sustainability at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT).

Now, it’s back to Alfred University for Gabby, and we could not be happier about it.

She brings an impeccable research portfolio and an impressive record of grants obtained, glowing teaching recommendations, innovative administrative accomplishments, and an incredible network of Alfred University alumni and other contacts in industry. She’s highly regarded in her field, and her decanal leadership will further burnish the reputation of our Inamori School of Engineering.

While she officially takes the position with the spring semester, Gabby will be spending one day a week in Alfred through the fall semester and will participate in other significant events as well, including this week’s Strategic Planning retreat with our Board of Trustees, and our board meeting in October. Earlier today, she joined Alastair Cormack, our interim dean of the Inamori School of Engineering and Frechette professor of ceramic science, and me in Fremont, California to meet with some top engineers/managers at Tesla to discuss how we might be of better service to that firm going forward through research partnerships, training programs, and sourcing talent and contacts.

“The search committee was really excited by the outlook and vision Gabby has for our school,” said William Carty, chair of the committee and McMahon professor of ceramic engineering.

In addition to Dr. Carty, the members of our search committee who worked so diligently to bring us such an excellent choice consisted of: trustee Dr. Joseph Cesarano ’83; Alastair Cormack; Junjun Ding, assistant professor of materials science; Andrew Eklund, the Goetz-Bentz professor of chemistry; Tiffany Horton, administrative assistant to the Inamori dean; Matt Kelleher, assistant professor of ceramic art; William LaCourse, Kruson professor of glass science; David Marsh, assistant professor of chemistry; Maria Mendez ’19, a ceramic engineering student; Holly Shulman ’87, professor of ceramic engineering; and Steven Tidrow, Inamori professor of materials science.

Several trustees acted in an advisory capacity during the dean search including Dr. Joe Cesarano; Dr. Cheryl Blanchard ’86; Dr. John Edmond ’83; Dr. Christine Heckle ’92; Tom Hinman ’79; Dr. Terry Michalske ’75; and Dr. Kathleen Richardson ’82.

Please join me in thanking the members of the search committee and the trustees named above for their dedicated service on behalf of our University. Please also join me in commending Dr. Alastair Cormack for his able service as our interim dean for more than two years and for his generous willingness to continue helping in such a capacity over the remainder of this calendar year and with Gabby’s onboarding during that time period.

Finally, please join me in welcoming Dr. Gabrielle Gaustad as the dean designate in our Inamori School of Engineering.

Fiat Welcome!