Christa D. Acampora (left) will head the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, while Melissa M. Lubin (right) takes over the School of Continuing and Professional Studies. Evan Kutsko; Justin Roth, JMU University Marketing

Two Virginia natives who are new to UVA have stepped into leadership roles on Grounds. Christa D. Acampora, who grew up in Dublin, Virginia, became dean of the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences on Sept. 1. Melissa M. Lubin, originally from Blacksburg, is dean of the School of Continuing and Professional Studies, effective Sept. 19. 

Acampora joined UVA after serving as deputy provost and professor of philosophy at Emory University, where her responsibilities covered faculty hiring and academic programs, including the creation of a center for student entrepreneurs. She previously served as a faculty member at the City University of New York’s Graduate Center and Hunter College, where she was also associate provost for faculty affairs and research. Her academic research explores Friedrich Nietzsche’s philosophy, among other themes.

In September, Acampora told UVA’s Board of Visitors that a liberal arts education was more important than ever, citing the erosion of democratic institutions, global climate change and the emergence of new technologies. 

“These challenges will require us to draw upon, define and refine our senses of what is human, more than human and humane,” she said. “The liberal arts and sciences are critical for these tasks and essential for our discovery of hope in a world that oftentimes today seems to be in despair.”

Lubin comes from James Madison University, where she served as chief economic engagement officer and founding dean of its School of Professional & Continuing Education, spearheading its transformation from an office to a school. Under her leadership, the school added new programs to meet student and workforce needs and bolstered access for at-risk students. 

Before joining JMU, Lubin was director of Virginia Tech’s Commonwealth Campus Centers in Richmond, Newport News and Virginia Beach. “The University’s strategic plan charts a bold course for community engagement and continuing education,” she told the website UVA Today in August. “... We are poised to offer yet more opportunities to students throughout the commonwealth and beyond.”