YSU Dean Recognized as Distinguished Woman Scholar

By Jennifer Rodriguez

Kristine Blair, the dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, was honored with theDistinguished Woman Scholar Award by Purdue University in March.

The Distinguished Woman Scholar Award recognizes women for their career achievements or administrative leadership. Purdue University has awarded four or five female alumnae annually since 2011. The award is given to women from various fields of study.

“I was really delighted and like anybody I think I was a little surprised,” Blair said.

Blair graduated from California State University before receiving her PhD from Purdue University in Indiana.

“I’ve been away from Purdue for a long time,” she said. “I graduated with my PhD in 1994.”

Blair has worked at YSU since May 2016 and she said she enjoys the interaction she has with the students and staff.

“I like to be out and about, celebrating student accomplishments, participating in guest speaker series,” said Blair. “I think just being connected to campus events is a way to maintain connection with student’s faculty and staff.”

Martin Abraham, the vice president of Academic Affairs at YSU, said he has been very pleased that Blair has “become engaged in the fabric of YSU.”

“She’s got a very interesting scholarship bent, dealing with technology in English, which you don’t usually think of as a combination,” said Abraham, “She’s continued to work in that area and push that research activity forward.”

YSU selected Blair to be dean from a national search because of the whole range of her credentials, academically and administration-wise, Abraham said.

“When we look for our deans, we’re also looking for deans that have outstanding credentials in the other areas that we expect our faculties to have outstanding credentials in,” he said. “So they have to be an educator, they have to be a scholar and be able to do the service as a dean.”

The award is given by the Butler Center for Leadership at Purdue University. Blair said the awards are connected with Women’s History Month.

“It’s really important to honor the accomplishments of women, not just during women’s history month, but throughout all phases,” said Blair. “Our contributions to the academic mission are substantial. To have opportunities to recognize that, here at YSU and at other institutions like Purdue is an important part of creating a welcoming space for women.”