MEDIA, Pa. — Cynthia Lightfoot, director of academic affairs, has been named interim chancellor of Penn State Brandywine, effective Aug. 1. Lightfoot will take over for Chancellor Kristin Woolever, who will retire from the University on July 31 after leading the campus since Feb. 1, 2014. A national search to identify the campus’ next chancellor is in progress.
Lightfoot is a longstanding, accomplished member of the Brandywine community who first joined the campus in 1998 as associate professor of human development and family studies. She became the director of academic affairs on July 1, 2014. Lightfoot also holds the rank of professor of human development and family studies.
“Brandywine is a unique and special place where the entire community understands that we are responsible not only for developing students academically and professionally, but also preparing citizens who are ethically minded and civically engaged,” Lightfoot said. “This holistic approach to student development is the backbone of the Brandywine experience.”
During Lightfoot’s five-year tenure as director of academic affairs, Brandywine introduced the Pathway to Success Summer Start program for incoming students, built teaching-research laboratories for the social sciences, revitalized the STEM Options program for middle- and high-school girls, launched the Center for Ethics & Civic Engagement, expanded the reach and impact of sustainability efforts and global programming, and pursued an agenda focused on issues of social justice.
Prior to joining Brandywine, Lightfoot spent eight years at the State University of New York at Plattsburgh as assistant professor and later associate professor.
She earned a bachelor of arts degree in psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz; a master of arts degree in psychology from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver; a doctorate in psychology from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
“As interim chancellor, I'm looking forward to contributing to Brandywine's long history of advancing student success and Penn State University's mission of outstanding teaching, scholarship and service,” Lightfoot said.
Professor of Engineering Ivan Esparragoza has been appointed interim director of academic affairs, also effective Aug. 1.