Several department- and college-level leadership changes took place at the beginning of the Fall 2023 semester.

Illinois Geometry Lab welcomes new leadership team

Karen Mortensen, associate director of graduate studies in the Department of Mathematics, took the helm as director of the Illinois Geometry Lab this fall. As director, Mortensen will coordinate IGL’s program of research groups involving undergraduate mathematics students, graduate students, and faculty in a wide variety of areas of pure and applied mathematics. The IGL also organizes mathematics outreach programing for local schools and community members. Mortensen stepped into this role as former director Susan Tolman completed her term.

Two other leadership roles will be filled by graduate students in the mathematics department.  Manisha Garg will serve as the research manager for IGL in 2023–24. Garg has served as the director of SIM Camp, the math department’s annual summer math camp for high school students. IGL’s outreach manager is Maddy Ritter, who currently serves as president of the UIUC graduate chapter of the Association of Women in Mathematics.

NetMath welcomes new director

Lee DeVille, director of undergraduate studies in mathematics will also serve as the new director of NetMath. In his new role, DeVille will oversee the broad operations of the self-paced distance learning program led by the Department of Mathematics. He will work closely with NetMath staff to identify new opportunities to invigorate the program and lead initiatives that benefit students.

College of LAS welcomes new associate deans

Additionally, two new associate deans joined the LAS Dean’s Office this August:

Cari Vanderpool is the college’s first Associate Dean for Research. In this role, she will establish an LAS Research Office to expand the college’s already significant research enterprise, broaden research collaborations, and help connect faculty and students with the resources they need for research. Cari joined the faculty of the Department of Microbiology in 2006 and has served as the associate head in since 2019. She also has served as the interim associate dean for research and advanced studies at the College of Veterinary Medicine since 2021.

Shaowen Wang stepped into the role of Associate Dean for Life and Physical Sciences, previously held by Matt Ando. In his new role, Shaowen serves as a liaison between the college and the diverse academic units in the life and physical sciences. Since 2017, Shaowen has been head of the Department of Geography & Geographic Information Science, which he joined in 2007. He also leads the CyberGIS Center for Advanced Digital and Spatial Studies and the Institute for Geospatial Understanding through an Integrative Discovery Environment and since 2022 has been a faculty fellow with the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation.


Shelby Koehne & Trish Barker