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New Faces at the Helm

With plans to extend UVA’s reach beyond Grounds, new deans are leading three UVA schools

Malo A. Hutson
School of Architecture

Malo A. Hutson
Sanjay Suchak

Malo A. Hutson, an expert in community development, environmental justice and urban health, began his architecture school appointment July 1, succeeding Ila Berman, who remains on the school’s faculty. Previously at Columbia University, he served as a professor and director of the urban planning Ph.D. program. He also helped lead Columbia World Projects, a campus-wide effort where Columbia researchers and scholars collaborate on solutions to global challenges. At UVA, he’s eager to find ways to turn scholarship into real-world change.

“We need to do our research, teaching and scholarship, but we also have to do more,” Hutson said. “Our work can’t just be in a journal. It needs to get to the policy-makers, it needs to get to the community, it needs to be implemented. And I get the sense that that’s where UVA’s at. … It seems like the right place at the right time.”

Jennifer L. West
School of Engineering

Jennifer L. West
Dan Addison

Jennifer L. West landed at UVA on July 1 from Duke University’s engineering school, where she was a professor of biomedical engineering, mechanical engineering and materials science and associate dean for Ph.D. education. She succeeds Craig Benson, who remains on the faculty.

At UVA, she plans to focus on entrepreneurship, supporting faculty members who want to commercialize their research and teaching students to do the same someday. She wants to stimulate research, including providing opportunities for undergraduate students to get involved. And as UVA’s first female engineering school dean, she will build on the school’s diversity. Its female undergraduate population already is 34 percent, compared with 21 percent nationally.

“The engineering school has just had tremendous momentum over the past five to 10 years,” she said. “It’s a place where really great things are happening and where we can build on that momentum and really push further to preeminence.”

Dr. Melina R. Kibbe
School of Medicine

Dr. Melina R. Kibbe
Jeyhoun Paul Allebaugh. UNC-Chapel Hill

Dr. Melina R. Kibbe starts her appointment as UVA School of Medicine’s first permanent female dean and chief health affairs officer for UVA Health on Sept. 15, succeeding Dr. David S. Wilkes, who served for six years. Kibbe, whom President Barack Obama honored with an Early Career Award in 2009, arrives at UVA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she is a clinician, researcher and surgery department chair. There she has served as a top recruiter, building on the surgery department’s diversity, including LGBTQ+ faculty, trainees and staff, and expanding its research work. She plans to do the same at UVA.

“They already are doing amazing research, but the footprint should be larger,” Kibbe said. “So my goal will be to help expand the research efforts while maintaining the high-level, innovative research that’s currently being done.”