Rader named permanent associate dean after serving interim role in Arts & Sciences

Nicole Rader

After more than a year serving in an interim role, a Mississippi State sociology professor is being named associate dean for academic affairs in the university’s College of Arts and Sciences.

Nicole Rader now officially holds the key administrative position responsible for supervising and enhancing teaching programs in MSU’s largest and most diverse scholastic unit. She succeeds Rick Travis, who moved into the dean’s position in 2016.

In announcing the appointment, Travis emphasized the “very strong leadership and administrative skills” of the Southern Illinois University doctoral graduate who additionally directs MSU’s African American Studies program.

“Dr. Rader has proven to be an excellent representative of our college as we work with the offices of the provost, registrar and admissions to plan new academic programs and identify new recruitment strategies,” Travis said. “She is a consistent voice for upholding the high standards we set for our students and our faculty. Her leadership and integrity are of great value to our college.”

Rader also earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Central Methodist University and master’s in criminology from Drury University, both in Missouri. Criminology and gender and qualitative methods are her primary research areas.

A member of the Starkville faculty since 2005, she was the sociology department’s undergraduate and graduate coordinator prior to joining the dean’s office. She also led the university’s Gender Studies program and chaired the campus President’s Commission on the Status of Women.

Rader said administrative experience she gained in those leadership roles has provided her “with a deeper understanding of the challenges we sometimes face working with students and within departments.

“But more importantly,” she added, “they’ve taught me that if we stay focused and work together, we can have great success in building and improving academic programs with a liberal arts focus.” She describes herself as a problem solver committed to “upholding the quality of our academic programs when making decisions.”

In 2015, Rader was honored with the Dean’s Eminent Scholar award. That same year, a book she co-authored, “Fear of Crime in the United States: Causes, Consequences, and Contradictions” (Carolina Academic Press), received CHOICE magazine’s Outstanding Academic Title award.

Among her other major MSU recognitions were the President’s Commission on the Status of Women’s Outstanding Faculty Member Award and the college’s Kari and Phil Oldham Mentor of the Year, both in 2012. A year later, she received a Distinguished Faculty Award from Alpha Kappa Delta sociology honor society.

Additional biographical information is found at www.cas.msstate.edu/about/people/academic-affairs/dr-nicole-rader.

Currently celebrating its 60th year, MSU’s College of Arts and Sciences includes more than 5,200 students, 300 full-time faculty members, nine doctoral programs and 25 academic majors offered in 14 departments. More information is online at www.cas.msstate.edu.

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.

Sarah Nicholas | College of Arts & Sciences

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