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Deanna Fitzgerald appointed Associate Dean, Academic and Student Affairs

Announcement from Dean Andy Schulz

Deanna Fitzgerald has been appointed as the Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs in the College of Fine Arts, beginning July 1, 2020. In this role, Deanna will work closely with college leadership to formulate, implement and assess strategies in the management of all academic and student affairs.

I am delighted that Deanna has agreed to join the College of Fine Arts leadership team. She has served with incredible effectiveness in recent administrative positions in the School of Theatre, Film & Television and in the Fred Fox School of Music, and I look forward to working with her in this new role.

An important initial task will be working with faculty, staff and school directors in the college — as well as staff and leadership at the university level — to build upon and expand our efforts with regard to ensuring student success, including retention and career services. Deanna’s experiences make her ideally suited to take on this expanded portfolio.

“It is an exciting time to assume a broader leadership role within the College of Fine Arts and serve all of the aspiring artists, craftspeople, technicians, scholars, teachers and leaders who choose Arizona as their place for training and study,” she writes.

“As a first-generation student I am intimately aware of the value of strong, effective support systems during the academic chapter of the journey toward excellence. As we transform our identity through Arizona Arts, I look forward to partnering with all of the Schools and Arts units to ensure a vital central point for every student’s experience from their first visit to campus through their career entry and beyond.”

Deanna is a professor in the School of Theatre, Film & Television where she teaches lighting design and technology and mentors the BFA and MFA students in that area. She is also a yoga and meditation teacher who was instrumental in bringing national attention to the ways in which theatrical designers and technicians can use “quietive” practices for creative work and well-being. She is a recognized leader in her field, sitting on the Board of Directors of the University Resident Theatre Association and soon to be on the Board of Directors of the United States Institute of Theater Technology.

Deanna joined the university in 2008 as an Assistant Professor and Resident Lighting Designer for what was then the School of Theatre. In the intervening 12 years, she has held numerous leadership positions for the School, College and University and for national professional organizations. She has numerous professional lighting designer credits for theatre, dance and music, including the local Rogue Theatre, STOMP and Cirque Mechanics: Boom Town. She has BA in Drama and an MFA in theatrical design and production from the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music.

Since 2015, Deanna has been the Director of Graduate Studies for TFTV and since 2016, an Associate Director. Over the past two years, she has assumed integral roles during pivotal leadership transitions for both TFTV and the Fred Fox School of Music. During the 2018-19 school year, she was the Interim co-Director of the School for TFTV and in the fall of 2019 began assisting FFSoM as Acting, then Interim Associate Director.

“I love a good adventure.”

When asked why she takes on all of these many roles, Deanna said, “The short answer is that I love a good adventure.

“It’s in my nature to look for ways to expand the impact of my efforts. The reason I became a lighting designer was because I saw how I could use light to bring life-transforming experiences. Eventually I transitioned into teaching so that I could guide young aspirants to do the same. It really is about continually looking for the most constructive places to put my energies.”

Deanna will be responsible for coordinating support systems for student success. Recruitment, retention, graduation, job placement and alumni relations will fall under her purview. She will be a key contributor in the general education conversation both at the college and university levels, and provide an essential voice in strategic discussions with college leadership about Responsibility Centered Management (RCM). Deanna will represent the College as a voting member on the College Academic Administrators Council, which oversees all university-level academic policies, as well as curricular and program proposals.

I also want to take this opportunity to once again thank Martina Shenal for the incredible work she has done in the Dean’s Office for the past 15 years, and to wish her well as she prepares for her return to faculty. Later in the semester, we will take time to thank and honor her service.

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