UW News

November 9, 2006

A name change and a promotion: Janice DeCosmo becomes associate dean in Undergraduate Academic Affairs

The Office of Undergraduate Education has officially changed its name to Undergraduate Academic Affairs and promoted one of its own to associate dean. The new name is in line with the new title of Ed Taylor — vice provost and dean of Undergraduate Academic Affairs.

Janice DeCosmo, assistant dean in Undergraduate Academic Affairs, has been promoted to the position of associate dean, pending approval from the Board of Regents.

As associate dean, DeCosmo will continue to steward UAA’s Center for Experiential Learning and the programs within it, oversee the Mary Gates Endowment, and be a member of UAA’s executive leadership.

“Janice DeCosmo’s experience, vision, skills, and track record of building programs will continue to serve the University and UAA well,” said Dean Taylor. “This promotion is well-deserved recognition of all that Janice has done and a glimpse into future possibilities and accomplishments. Janice has an important voice in UAA’s effort to serve all students well and I look forward to our continued work together.”

DeCosmo earned a bachelor’s degree in physics at the University of Iowa in 1979, a master’s degree in physics from the University of Oregon in 1984, and a doctorate in atmospheric sciences from the UW in 1991, specializing in atmosphere-ocean interaction. She has directed the Washington NASA Space Grant Consortium in the College of Arts & Sciences since 1997. The program received a Brotman Award for Instructional Excellence in 2005.

In 2000, DeCosmo joined the then-Office of Undergraduate Education as the first director of the Undergraduate Research Program, a program she continues to direct. Since 2000, the Undergraduate Research Program has grown to connect more than 1,500 undergraduates to faculty research each year.

As assistant dean for experiential learning, DeCosmo provided critical leadership for five experiential learning programs that annually serve more than 5,000 students; initiated programs — such as the new Amgen Scholars Program — that integrate student learning with research and service; oversaw the $20 million Mary Gates Endowment for Students; and served as a tireless advocate for connecting students to experiential learning opportunities.

As associate dean, DeCosmo will continue her work in these areas. Additionally, she is the campus representative and an elected councilor for the Council on Undergraduate Research and an elected member of the board of governors of the National Conference on Undergraduate Research.

“I enjoy representing and stewarding the University’s focus on the undergraduate academic experience and helping the provost’s office keep it as a top priority,” DeCosmo said. “I also enjoy building structures that support learning and that help students to imagine themselves as creators of knowledge and contributors to their community.”

Undergraduate Academic Affairs offers opportunities and resources for students and their families, faculty members, and academic departments and programs.