Mike Leonard, associate professor of industrial design, has been named the interim academic dean of the School of Design and Engineering in the College of Design, Engineering and Commerce. Leonard’s appointment will be effective as of July 1, 2011, but he will begin participating with the College leadership team immediately.
Among his many accomplishments, Leonard is the recipient of this year’s Philadelphia University President’s Award for Excellence for his work in and out of the classroom, mentoring students and serving as a model educator. During his time at Philadelphia University, Leonard has worked with faculty and administration to develop numerous collaborative student projects and integrated industry partnerships.
Through his design firm, Mike Leonard, Designer, he has worked to solve design problems for companies such as Gillette, Black & Decker and Polaroid. Leonard, who holds several patents, has served on the Design Advisory Board for the American Society of Inventors and has been chapter chair of the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA).
“Mike’s exceptional industry experience, his scholarship in the field of education, his ability to work with others and represent all points of view, and his commitment to education make him ideally suited for the position,” said Ronald G. Kander, Ph.D., executive dean of the College of Design, Engineering and Commerce. “He is deeply respected and trusted by students, faculty and administrators alike.”
In preparation for his new role, Leonard will be working closely with Jeff Cromarty, who served as interim dean for two years, in the next month to ensure a smooth transition. Leonard will also work closely with Kander, the faculty of the School of Design and Engineering and Sue Lehrman in the School of Business Administration to advance the goals of the College; continue the integration of the DEC curriculum; foster dialog and collaboration among its courses; and support faculty and students in the continued improvement of the programs.