Finalists named for SDSU College of Education and Human Sciences dean search


BROOKINGS – Three finalists have been selected as candidates to be the South Dakota State University dean for the College of Education and Human Sciences. They will interview for the position in the next two weeks.

The interviews will also include open forums for each individual to engage with key industry, community and university stakeholders.

The candidates, in order of interview date, are:

Matthew Vukovich

Vukovich is a professor and associate dean of research for the College of Education and Human Sciences at South Dakota State University. He also serves as interim associate dean for research for SDSU’s College of Nursing. Vukovich previously led the Department of Health and Nutritional Sciences. He interviews Wednesday, April 7, and the open forum starts at 10 a.m. It will be available via Zoom at https://sdstate.zoom.us/j/96664929726.

Vukovich received his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees from Iowa State University. He earned his doctorate from Ball State University in human bioenergetics. Vukovich was awarded a postdoctorate fellowship at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. 

A fellow with the American College of Sports Medicine, Vukovich’s research focuses on the interaction of nutrition and exercise on body composition, hormones and muscle-bone relationships.

Paul Barnes

Barnes is a professor and associate dean in the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. He interviews April 9 and the open forum starts at 10 a.m. It will be available via Zoom  at https://sdstate.zoom.us/j/99737049145.

Barnes received his Bachelor of Science and doctorate degrees from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln and his master’s degree from UNO.

For the past 21 years, Barnes has worked at UNO, where he has also served as the counseling department chairperson and assistant vice chancellor for academic and student affairs. He has also received a campuswide teaching award and been honored with a distinguished professorship.

Scott Gordon

Gordon is a professor and associate dean of the WellStar College of Health and Human Services at Kennesaw State University. He interviews April 13 and the open forum starts at 10 a.m. It will be available via Zoom at https://sdstate.zoom.us/j/99307366885.

Gordon received his bachelor’s degree in biology from Bowdoin College and his master’s and doctorate degrees from Pennsylvania State University. He underwent postdoctoral training at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston as a NASA postdoctoral research associate in space biology and the University of Missouri as a National Institutes of Health postdoctoral fellow.

He has also served as interim dean in the WellStar College of Health and Human Services and interim executive director of its Academy for Inclusive Learning and Social Growth. Gordon was a faculty member in the Department of Kinesiology at East Carolina University from 2001-2012, where he received the Scholar-Teacher Award and the Outstanding Researcher Award for his college. He then was a professor and chair in the Department of Kinesiology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte from 2012-2017. Gordon also served in the exercise physiology division of the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine in Natick, Massachusetts, and as a medic in an infantry unit of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard.

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