Veteran educator promoted to dean of college

The College of Education and Human Services appointed a new dean this fall.

Longtime Seton Hall faculty member, Dr. Grace Mest May moved to her new position as dean at the beginning of the Fall 2012 semester.

May has been with the University since 1989. She joined the Seton Hall community as an assistant professor of mathematics after finishing graduate school.

“I did some research about the University and the program in special education,” May said. “I liked what I read about the University mission and service to students so I decided to apply.”

Since beginning her career in education at Seton Hall, May has taken on a number of different roles.

She has been a faculty member, program director, accreditation coordinator and associate dean.

As the new Dean of the College of Education and Human Services, May said her responsibilities have grown, yet she acknowledges that previous work experience has helped her handle her new position and its duties.

“Each role has allowed me to broaden my understanding of the interconnections between students, faculty, administrators, board members and the community (local and professional),” she said.

“As Dean, you are responsible for the quality and integrity of service provided by the entire college. I consider it an honor and exciting challenge to represent our 35 programs at both the undergraduate and graduate level.”

May said she is always looking forward in her work. May said she hopes to connect with faculty and desires to form a long-term plan alongside the University’s strategic plans.

“I love teaching,” she said. “When I started as an assistant professor, I felt there couldn’t possibly be a better job than teaching. I really enjoy my students and the opportunity to work with them in the class- room as well as out in the field at their school internships.”

As for advice for the student body, May encourages students to introduce themselves to the available faculty and to not be afraid to take the opportunity to ask them questions. “We care about our students and it helps to have a connection beyond the classroom,” May said.

Outside of work and University matters, May said she likes to use her free time to read, exercise and spend time with her family.

“For the past few years I’ve enjoyed reading biographies, specifically about figures in American history like Eleanor Roosevelt,” May said. “I also especially enjoy the chance to talk with my family and friends on a long walk on a summer night.”

Some life wisdom that May gave her own daughter, a current sophomore in college: “Hold high expectations for yourself and respect the opportunities you have been given. Success is not measured solely by grades, but also by how you treat others and yourself.”

Natalie Rebisz can be reached at

Author: Natalie Rebisz

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