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LAS names interim associate dean

stella turk
Stella Turk, seen here at the May 20 undergraduate commencement ceremony, has been named interim associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences while Associate Dean Michael Gayle is on sabbatical.

Stella Turk (Communication Disorders) will have to get used to a new schedule starting this summer.

Beginning in July, the Communication Disorders Department chair's days will be divided between her office on the basement floor of the Humanities Building and an office on the sixth floor of the Jacobson Faculty Tower. There, Turk will serve as interim associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Turk, who is director of the Speech- Language and Hearing Center, accepted the position which is held on a permanent basis by Michael Gayle (Psychology). Gayle will embark on a yearlong sabbatical at the end of June.

Turk views the opportunity as a way to further explore a career in college administration. She has had four years of administrative experience as chair of the department she joined in 1994. She said that the positive interactions and great working relationships she has developed with members of the campus community prompted her to apply.

"The more I get involved in administration," Turk said, "the more interesting and challenging I find the work to be."

Though Turk will continue in her role as chair of Communication Disorders, her schedule will not allow her to maintain all the responsibilities she currently performs. She will have to relinquish her role as director of the Speech-Language and Hearing Center, but only for the year she is interim dean. Instructor Susan Arnao will take over leadership of the center.

Turk, who received her doctoral degree in Audiology (Au.D.) from Arizona School of Health Sciences at Still University in Mesa, Ariz., and has 21 years of experience as an audiologist, began working at New Paltz as apart-time lecturer. She became a full-time clinical lecturer and coordinator of the Speech-Language and Hearing Center in 1995. Turk has been chair of the Communication Disorders Department since 2004.

In the month before her schedule changes, Turk said she will attend many meetings with various campus departments. In addition to mentoring Arnao, Turk is in constant communication with Gayle in order to make his departure and return as smooth as possible. She is also preparing for her new role by meeting with the departments the associate dean works with, including the offices of Admissions, Continuing Education, Enrollment Management and the Registrar.

"I'm looking forward to providing support for the academic interests of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences," she said, "and I hope everyone will be patient as I learn my new role."