From the Dean
It feels fitting that my first note in Ask as interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences would be on the topic of leadership. I’ve led teams throughout my career at Drexel, as director of the Applied Neuro-Technologies Lab and as head of the Department of Psychology, but the role of dean brings a new challenge and opportunity to expand on the approaches I’ve learned through the years.
As I read through the features in this year’s magazine, numerous themes emerge, but one in particular resonates with me: the value of building strong teams. Each of the individuals profiled remarks on this in some way, noting the need to recognize and invest in the potential of our people. I agree wholeheartedly — you don’t reach the highest levels of achievement by treating the world or your work as a one- person show.
Teams take many forms, and building a strong one is no simple task. It requires transparency and a respect for each individual’s unique strengths and expertise. It requires that we let go of the egos that often keep us siloed and be open to learning from each other.
In my new role, I am focused not only on continuing to shape our vision for the College, but also on bringing together and capitalizing on the talent and expertise that already exist within our College community. Much like the alums in this issue, I believe in investing in our teams, in taking the time to develop leaders, and in the importance of collaborating with people whose viewpoints may differ from our own.
The capacity to tackle complex issues requires all of us — with all of our diverse experiences and perspectives — coming together. It requires the fearlessness to break out of predefined roles or disciplinary bounds, to forge new partnerships and to work collaboratively to challenge outmoded ways of thinking.
That’s how the College will achieve its shared vision, and how we will continue to contribute life-changing solutions to society.
Maria T. Schultheis, PhD