Arts and sciences college announces three appointments

Contact: Jeanne Baron
| WMU News

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—The College of Arts and Sciences has named three administrators to positions that have significant contact with the public as well as Western Michigan University students.

Dr. Heather L. Petcovic has been named associate dean of the college while Drs. Charles Henderson and Susan Pozo will head the Mallinson Institute for Science Education and the global and international studies program, respectively. All of their appointments are effective July 1.

Heather L. Petcovic

Photo of Dr. Heather L. Petcovic.


Petcovic, an associate professor in the Department of Geosciences and Mallinson Institute for Science Education, has been serving in the College of Arts and Sciences' associate dean position on an interim basis since Jan. 1. Her role as associate dean includes responsibility for research, graduate student success, and diversity and inclusion initiatives.

A WMU faculty member since 2004, she is widely published in peer-reviewed journals on such topics as field-based learning and problem-solving in the geosciences, and development of geoscience and environmental science curricula. In addition, she has been principal investigator or co-principal investigator on grants from the National Science Foundation totaling more than $1 million.

Petcovic has been the editor for the past two years of the Journal of Geoscience Education, and is a past chair of both the Geological Society of America Geoscience Education Division and the Teacher Education Division of the National Association of Geoscience Teachers. She earned a bachelor's degree from Smith College, and a master's and doctoral degree from Oregon State University.

Charles Henderson

Photo of Dr. Charles Henderson.


Henderson is a professor of physics who has a joint appointment with the Mallinson Institute. Henderson replaces Dr. William Cobern, who has served as the institute's director since 2003. In his new role, he will oversee the institute's mission to advance knowledge through research and improve the teaching and learning of science, in and out of the classroom.

A WMU faculty member since 2002, Henderson not only teaches, but also co-founded and co-directs the WMU Center for Research on Instructional Change in Postsecondary Education. His research, which has been supported by more than $7 million in external grants, focuses on understanding and promoting instructional change in higher education. Much of this work is aimed at improving the slow incorporation of research-based instructional reforms into college-level science, technology, engineering and mathematics—STEM—courses.

Henderson is a Fulbright Scholar and Fellow of the American Physical Society as well as the senior editor for Physical Review Physics Education Research and has served on National Academy of Sciences committees dealing with undergraduate education in physics and STEM areas. He earned a bachelor's degree from Macalester College, and a master's and doctoral degree from the University of Minnesota.

Susan Pozo

Photo of Dr. Susan Pozo.


Pozo is a professor of economics and allied faculty member of the global and international studies program. In her new role as the program's director, Pozo will lead more than 50 allied faculty members as they work to promote globalization among WMU's academic disciplines. She replaces Dr. Laura Hastings, who has served in that capacity since 2014.

The global and international studies program prepares students for careers in the increasingly globalized marketplace and to be informed, engaged global citizens.

A WMU faculty member since 1982, Pozo teaches several undergraduate and graduate courses for the program she is about to head, and also directs and leads a short-term summer study abroad course that covers the economics of Latin America. She is an expert in areas such as immigration policy, the determinants and economic impacts of workers' remittances, undocumented migration, returns to international human capital, empirical distribution of foreign exchange rates, measures of exchange risk, and underground financial and economic activity.

Pozo spent much of her childhood in Venezuela, and has been a visiting fellow at Harris Manchester College in the U.K., a visiting researcher at the Universidad de Salamanca in Spain, and a Fulbright research scholar at the University of Montevideo in Uruguay. She earned a bachelor's degree from Barnard College and a doctoral degree from Michigan State University.

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