S4HE Deans Panel

Distinguished Panelists

Dr. Sophia Maggelakis, Dean of the College of Sciences

Rochester Institute of Technology

Dr. Sophia Maggelakis became Dean of the College of Science at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in 2010. She previously served as the Head of RIT’s School of Mathematical Sciences for nine years. As a leader, Dr. Maggelakis has a track record of supporting and working well with faculty and staff through a variety of initiatives. She is the founder of the School of Mathematical Sciences, the Summer Mathematics Institute, the Women in Science (WISe), the Center for Advancing Science/Math Teaching, Learning, and Evaluation (CASTLE), and the Integrated Sciences Academy. Dean Maggelakis is an advocate for diversity and received the 2016 Edwina Award for Excellent Work in Enhancing Gender Inclusiveness and Diversity.

In addition to her administrative and leadership experience, Dr. Maggelakis went through the faculty ranks at RIT as an educator who focused on student success and scholarship. She is a recipient of the Eisenhart Award for Outstanding Teaching and a member of the Faculty for the 21st Century for the Project Kaleidoscope (PKAL), one of the leading organizations in the United States for building and sustaining strong programs in the STEM disciplines. Dr. Maggelakis’ research area is Mathematical Biology where she has published book chapters, refereed journal articles, and presented numerous papers at national and international conferences.


Dean Maggelakis serves on the Board of Trustees of the Rochester Museum and Science Center (RMSC). She was also selected to be the Institutional Representative on the New York State ACE (American Council on Education) Women’s Network. She is a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, the Pi Mu Epsilon Mathematics Honors Society, the Society for Mathematical Biology, the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics.

Dr. Maggelakis holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in Computational and Applied Mathematics, a B.S. in Mathematics from Old Dominion University. She completed the Harvard Institute for Management and Leadership in Education Program.



Dr. Abigail Tilton, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences 

Texas Woman's University

Dr. Abigail Tilton joined Texas Woman’s University in 2003 in the Department of Sociology and Social Work where she taught in the undergraduate social work program and the graduate sociology program. She served as the Social Work Program Director between 2006 and 2013. She was appointed Associate Dean for the College of Arts and Sciences in 2013. As Associate Dean, she was responsible for supervising the Bachelor of General Studies Program and the College of Arts and Sciences Academic Advisors. She was also responsible for the academic quality for programs and departments and for faculty recruitment and development.  She served as the Dean’s Office liaison for all issues related to Title VI, Title VII, and Title IX complaints. Dr. Tilton serves as the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. In this role, she is responsible for 15 academic programs, supervises over 150 faculty and staff, and oversees a budget in excess of $15 million.

Dr. Tilton’s service includes serving as the Chair for the Women in Commerce subcommittee of the Denton Chamber of Commerce, the Board of Directors for Texas Women in Higher Education, and the Board of Directors for the national American Council of Academic Deans.


Prior to joining TWU, Dr. Tilton was the founding Executive Director for AIDS Services of North Texas, a non-profit organization serving people living with HIV/AIDS. Her teaching and research interests include social welfare policy, health care policy, social inequality, and child welfare.  She earned a BSW from the University of North Texas, a MSSW from the University of Texas - Arlington, and a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of North Texas. Dr. Tilton is married to Kurt Krause and between them they have four amazing daughters.


Dr. Theo Koupelis, Dean of Academic Affairs (Central Campus)

Broward College

Theo Koupelis is Dean of Academic Affairs (Central Campus) and Dean of the STEM/Math Pathway at Broward College in Florida. He was previously Dean of Math and Sciences at Florida SouthWestern State College and a professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Wisconsin-Marathon. He earned a Ph.D. in physics and astronomy from the University of Rochester and specializes in the theoretical modeling of astrophysical outflows (jets). He is the author of the astronomy textbook “In Quest of the Universe” and he is active in science education at all levels. He has served on a number of committees of the American Association of Physics Teachers and is a Board member of the Midwest Institute for International and Intercultural Education. Civic engagement, outreach efforts, and interdisciplinary approaches to teaching have been at the core of his work as a faculty member and administrator.


Dr. John McNeill, Dean of Engineering ad interim

Worcester Polytechnic Institute


John McNeill received his bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College in 1983, Master’s degree from the University of Rochester in 1991, and the Ph.D. from Boston University in 1994.   From 1983 to 1990 he worked in industry in the design of high-resolution analog-to-digital converters and low noise electronics used in high speed, wide dynamic range imaging systems.    In 1994, he joined the Electrical and Computer Engineering department at WPI.  From 2012 to 2018 he held the positions of Associate Head and then Head of the ECE Department, and since 2018 he has been interim Dean of the School of Engineering. In 1999 he received the WPI Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Teaching, and in 2007 was one of the inaugural winners of WPI’s Exemplary Faculty Award.

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