Academic Deans Bios


Michael Horswell, Ph.D. | Dean, Dorothy F. Schmidt College of  Arts and Letters

Dr. Michael J. Horswell earned his Ph.D. in Latin American literature at the University of Maryland, College Park. He also holds a M.A. in Spanish from Middlebury College in Vermont, and a B.A. in Spanish and Business Economics from Wofford College in his native South Carolina. Dr. Horswell specializes in the literature and culture of the colonial period as well as indigenous literatures of the Andes and Latin American film studies. He has lived and worked in Spain, Argentina, Peru and Ecuador. Prior to becoming dean, Dr. Horswell served the college as the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research and as the chair of the Department of Languages, Linguistics, and Comparative Literature. Dr. Horswell is the author or editor of five books and has published articles and book chapters on colonial, transatlantic literature, Latin American cinema, and Andean contemporary culture. His most recent books on Spanish and Latin American culture include the co-edited volumes  Submerged: Alternative Cuban Cinema (2013); Baroque Projections: Images and Texts in Dialogue with Early Modern Hispanic World (2016); and Sexualidades Periféricas. Consolidaciones literarias y fílmicas en la España de fin de siglo XIX y fin de milenio (2016).

Dean's Assistant

Holly Pereira, 561-297-3803,



Daniel Gropper, Ph.D.  |  Dean, College of Business

Dan Gropper is the Dean of the College of Business at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton.  A graduate of the University of Maryland and Florida State University, he joined FAU in 2013 after 25 years at Auburn University.  Before becoming a professor, he worked for three years at a private consulting firm. At FAU, he leads the 6th largest AACSB-accredited business school in the United States, with Executive MBA programs ranked at the highest level of any in Florida by BusinessWeek. Dr. Gropper has been recognized with several awards for his contributions in teaching, research and leadership, including the Luck Endowed Professorship at Auburn. His research has been published in leading finance and economics journals, and he has been quoted in such popular business publications as The Economist and U.S. News & World Report. Dan serves as a local advisory director for Comerica Bank in Palm Beach County. In his free time, Dan is an enthusiastic golfer and fisherman.

Dean's Assistant

Virginia Hale, 561-297-3629,



Naelys Luna, Ph.D.  |  Dean, College of Social Work and Criminal Justice

Naelys Luna earned her MSW and Ph.D. in Social Work from Fordham University in New York and her BA from Seton Hall University in New Jersey. She is a Licensed Social Worker (NY and NJ). She helped develop ADHD and PTSD programs in a child and adolescent outpatient psychiatric hospital. Dr. Luna has provided clinical social work services to children, adolescents, and their families in outpatient units, partial care programs, and private practice. She has worked in several research projects at the New York Psychiatric Institute and Lehman College. Dr. Luna’s research interests and publications are in the areas of substance use disorders, mood disorders, spirituality, parental roles, mental health outcomes in minorities (especially Hispanics), and psychosocial functioning.

Dean's Assistant

Lisa Valjin, 561-297-2316,



Stephen Silverman, Ed.D.  |  Dean, College of Education

Stephen Silverman, Ed.D., serves as Dean and Professor in the College of Education at Florida Atlantic University (FAU). He earned his Ed.D. from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, his M.S. from Washington State University and his B.S. from Temple University. Prior to joining FAU in 2019, he served Columbia University’s Teachers College for 21 years, most recently as Professor Education and Senior Advisor to the Provost for Research Preparation. Previously he held faculty positions at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, The University of Texas at Austin and Louisiana State University. He began his career as a health and physical education teacher in the School District of Philadelphia.

Dean Silverman’s research focuses on teaching and learning (motor skill and attitude) in physical education and on the methods for conducting research in field settings. He has made more than 225 presentations to international, national and regional groups and has published more than 150 chapters and papers, including nearly 100 refereed research articles. He is the co-author of 18 books related to teaching and research methods. He has served as editor-in-chief, has been a reviewer and a member of the editorial boards of numerous journals, as well as delivered a number of prestigious lectures.

The recipient of the first Exemplary Research Paper Award presented by the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Special Interest Group on Research on Learning and Instruction in Physical Education, Silverman received the Curriculum and Instruction Academy Honor Award from the National Association of Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) and the Distinguished Service Award from the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD) Research Consortium. He also was the recipient of the 2008 NASPE Presidential Award. Silverman has served as past chair, co-chair and national chair of several organizations. He is a Fellow in the AAHPERD Research Consortium and an Active Fellow in the National Academy of Kinesiology and is a past president of both organizations. In 2010 he was named an AERA Fellow.

Dean's Assistant

Josephine Elliott, 561-297-3357,



Stella Batalama, Ph.D. |  Dean, College of Engineering and Computer Science

Stella Batalama serves as Dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science and was appointed to this position in August 2017. Dr. Batalama comes from the University at Buffalo, a flagship institution of The State University of New York (SUNY) and a premier research-intensive university. She served most recently as chair of the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University at Buffalo and has held various positions there since 1995, including associate dean for research in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and acting director of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Center for Integrated Transmission and Exploitation (CITE), Rome, NY.

Dr. Batalama received her Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Virginia and her undergraduate and graduate degrees in computer science and engineering from the University of Patras in Greece. She also completed the Program for Leadership Development at Harvard Business School. She is a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering (IEEE), a member of the Society of Women Engineers, and a member of the American Society for Engineering Education.

Director, Executive & Academic Administrative Affairs

Kristen Fairgrieve, 561-297-0136,



Justin Perry, Ph.D.   Dean, Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College

Justin Perry, Ph.D., is Dean of the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College at Florida Atlantic University. Prior to joining FAU, he served as Dean of the School of Education, Ewing Marion Kauffman/Missouri Endowed Chair, and Professor of Counseling and Educational Psychology at the University of Missouri – Kansas City from 2016 to 2020. From 2006 to 2016, Perry was Chair and Associate Professor in the Department of Counseling, Administration, Supervision, and Adult Learning at Cleveland State University. He also served as Director of the Center for Urban Education.

Over the course of his career, Dr. Perry has produced a total of 46 publications, and his research has been funded by a $1 million grant awarded by the Institute of Education Sciences. During his time at Cleveland State University, he led the Center for Urban Education in securing and/or serving on 27 external grants, totaling over $14 million, including grants funded by the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Education, Health Resources and Services Administration, Ohio Department of Education, and The Cleveland Foundation. Under his leadership at UMKC, the School of Education received a historic gift supporting student scholarships, substantially increased its research funding, and earned three national accreditations, while establishing new and innovative partnerships with the Kansas City Teacher Residency program and Kansas City PLUS (Pathway to Leadership in Urban Schools).

Perry has a Ph.D. in counseling psychology and a master’s degree in mental health counseling, both from Boston College. From 2007 to 2016, he served on the Board of Directors at Esperanza, Inc., a non-profit organization in Cleveland dedicated to the educational needs of Hispanic youth.

Dean's Assistant

Anna Holmes, 561-799-8579,



Curtis L. Whitehair, M.D.  |  Interim Dean, Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine and Designated Institutional Official (DIO)

Curtis L. Whitehair, MD is board certified in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and is a specialist in musculoskeletal medicine, occupational medicine, and cancer rehabilitation. In May 2020 he joined the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, FL and serves as the Senior Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education (GME) as well as the Designated Institutional Official (DIO) of the FAU GME Consortium.  He was appointed to the Interim Dean on July 27, 2023.
Dr. Whitehair previously served as the Senior Associate Medical Director of the MedStar National Rehabilitation Network and Regional Physiatry which consisted of 52 therapy centers across four states and 7 ambulatory physician centers.   He served as the Program Director of the MedStar Georgetown University Hospital - MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Residency Training Program from 2009 -2018 and as an Associate Designated institutional Official for MedStar Health, the 10th largest GME system in the US. He served as Vice Chair of Education, Department of Rehabilitation at Georgetown University Medical Center.
Dr. Whitehair a graduate of Ross University School of Medicine completed his residency training in PM&R at the MedStar NRH after completing an internship of Family Medicine at the Medical College of Virginia.   
Currently, Dr. Whitehair is core faculty for the Harvard Macy Institute’s Educators in Health Professions and was one of the founding course directors for Become a Digital Citizen – Technology in Health Care Education (now Health Care Education 2.0 - Transforming your teaching for the digital age).    The Harvard Macy Institute is a collaboration of Harvard Medical School, Harvard Graduate School of Education Teaching and Harvard Business School.  The Institute brings together health care professionals, educator, and leaders to discuss the critical challenges of the day and design innovative solutions that have a lasting impact on the way medicine is practiced and learners are educated.  

Dr. Whitehair is an ACGME 2016 Parker J. Palmer Courage to Teach Award recipient.  He is a 2010 MedStar Health – Teaching Scholar and received the AAMC Medical Education Research Certification. Dr. Whitehair was named by the Washingtonian Magazine as a Top Doctor in Rehabilitation Medicine in 2010, 2012,2016, & 2018.  He was also listed in US News & World Report as one of the nation's best doctors the last year they posted physician rankings.

Dean's Assistant

Sherlene Purvis, 561-297-4341, 


safiya george

Safiya George, Ph.D  | Dean, Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing

Dr. Safiya George earned her PhD and MSN degrees from Emory University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Duke University in Religion and Health. She served as a member of the faculty at Emory’s Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing until she was recruited to the Capstone College of Nursing at the University of Alabama in 2015, where she served as Director of the Office of Scholarly Affairs and Assistant Dean for Research and member of the Advisory Board of the Alabama Life Research Institute. Since 2015, CCN saw tremendous growth in scholarly activities, including significant increases in extramural funding. Both the Executive Leadership Team and the faculty, staff and students at CCN and UA describe Dr. George as a great mentor, role model and colleague. At UA, she also served as faculty in the Honors College and Faculty-In-Residence for residential honors students. Her primary research area aims to promote the health and holistic wellbeing of individuals with or at risk for HIV/AIDS through evidence-based psychosocial interventions focused on social determinants of health. Her research has previously been funded by the, National Institutes of Health, including the National Institutes of Nursing Research, the Georgia Department of Community Health, the John Templeton Foundation, Emory University Religion and Public Health Collaborative, the Biomedical Imaging Technology Center, and the University of Alabama. Her work is currently funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, HRSA, ViiV Healthcare’s Southern Initiative Positive Action program, and the NIH-funded Resource Center for Minority Aging Research (RCMAR). Dr. George’s research productivity demonstrates the quality as well as quantity of her work and also signals her national reputation in the areas of holistic health, spirituality and HIV. Dr. George has received a number of honors and recognitions for her work. Most recently, on April 17, 2019, she was awarded the 2019 President’s Faculty Research Award at the University of Alabama. Her holistic approach to her research also garnered her an international award, the Daniel J. Pesut Spirit of Renewal Award in 2015. In 2017, she was elected to serve on the International Board of Directors for Sigma Theta Tau, the International Honor Society for Nursing, where she has also held numerous leadership roles, including Chair of the International Service Committee, elected member of the Leadership Succession Committee and Vice President of the Epsilon Omega Chapter. Dr. George is a board certified Adult Nurse Practitioner and in 2018, she was inducted as a Fellow of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.

“I am both humbled and excited about the opportunity to join faculty, staff and students at the Christine Lynn College of Nursing and serve as Dean. I have a passion for people, holistic health, caring and nursing science and I believe that I can contribute to and further support the impressive initiatives and programs at the college and across the campus. I have already grown to love Florida Atlantic University and the Christine Lynn College of Nursing, especially the caring philosophy that transcends and represents everything that the college stands for. I am proud to soon join the team and I truly look forward to working with everyone, including our phenomenal faculty, staff, students, alumni, advisory board and members of the larger, surrounding community.

Coordinator and Executive Assistant to Dean

Bernadette Bastien, 561-297-3207,




Linda Marie Golian-Lui, Ed.D., Ed.S., M.S.L.S | Dean, University Libraries

Linda Marie Golian-Lui, Ed.D., Ed.S., M.S.L.S. is a double FAU alumna who proudly serves as the Dean of Libraries. In this position, she provides executive leadership and vision for the collections, services, spaces, and professionals for a multi-campus library system consisting of three facilities: S.E. Wimberly Library on the Boca Raton Campus, the John D. MacArthur Campus Library in Jupiter, and the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute Library.

Dean Golian-Lui also oversees the collaborative contracted relationships for FAU library services at three Broward Campuses in Dania Beach, Davie, and Fort Lauderdale and shared library services for Palm Beach State College on the Boca Raton Campus.

Over 950,000 people visit the FAU Libraries annually – enough to fill the FAU Football stadium 32 times. The Libraries are committed to student success and offer the space and resources for research and study for the whole FAU community. Collections include approximately 3.7 million items, including books, periodicals, government documents, maps, media, and unique items. Signature collections include the Marvin & Sybil Weiner Spirit of America

Collection, Arthur & Mata Jaffe Center for Book Arts, Recorded Sound Archives, the Larkin Presidential Letters Collection, and Print Music Collection. Electronic resources include access to more than 200,000 journals and over 500 databases in all subject areas, with over 1.6 million searches performed annually.

Linda joined FAU after serving as Associate Dean of the Kennesaw State University Library System for ten years and Dean of Libraries for the University of Hawaii at Hilo for ten years. Her areas of research interest include library administration, mentoring, thinking styles, and imposter theory. Additional educational degrees include a BA in Sociology from the University of Miami, an M.S.L.S. from Florida State University, and a Graduate Certificate in Leadership and Ethics from Kennesaw State University.

Dean's Assistant

Hope Maginley, 561-297-3165,



Robert Stackman, Ph.D.  |  Dean, Graduate College

Robert Stackman Jr. serves as the Dean of the Graduate College, having been appointed in June 2019. He previously served as Associate Dean of Graduate Studies for the College of Science (2018-2019), and as Interim Chair of the Department of Psychology (2016-2018). Bob earned his Ph.D. (1995) and M.S. degrees in Psychology with a concentration in behavioral neuroscience at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Bob was awarded an individual NIH NRSA fellowship during his postdoctoral training at Dartmouth College. He was Assistant Professor in the Department of Behavioral Neuroscience at Oregon Health & Sciences University for seven years prior to moving to Florida Atlantic University in 2005. Bob was promoted to Professor in 2016, and has served as Co-Director of the Bachelor’s degree program in Neuroscience & Behavior. He was honored to be awarded Researcher of the Year at the Associate Professor level in 2010, and the College of Science’s Teacher of the Year in 2011. Dr. Stackman has a spectacular team of people in the Graduate College and looks forward to working with them and the other colleges on efforts to grow and improve graduate programs and the support of graduate students at FAU.

Dr. Stackman’s research focused on the cellular and brain circuit mechanisms of long-term memory, has been funded in part by grants from the NIH and NSF. Bob is passionate about the collaborative training environment he maintains in his research lab in Jupiter. The vibrant interactive community of postdoctoral fellows, graduate students and undergraduates in the lab has produced over 65 peer-reviewed publications, and permitted the completion of several Ph.D., Master’s degrees, and numerous undergraduate honors theses.

Dean's Assistant

Christine Kraft, 561-297-3359,



Daniel Meeroff, Ph.D. | Interim Dean, Undergraduate Studies

Daniel Meeroff serves as the Interim Dean of Undergraduate Studies, having been appointed in December 2021. He previously served as Professor and Associate Chair of Civil, Environmental & Geomatics Engineering, and as Director of the Laboratories of Engineered Environmental Solutions ( Dan earned his Ph.D. (2001) and M.S. degrees in Civil/Environmental Engineering from the University of Miami. Dan was also a two-sport student athlete (soccer and crew) at Florida Tech, where he won a national championship in soccer (1991) and is a member of the Florida Tech Sports Hall of Fame. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Science (1995), finishing as the top graduating senior in his class.

Dr. Meeroff leads a world-class team in the Office of Undergraduate Studies, working with faculty to improve undergraduate student outcomes in the support of all undergraduate students at FAU. Dr. He supervises several key initiatives including University Advising Services, the Center for Teaching and Learning (FAU’s academic support center), the Office of Undergraduate Research and Inquiry, the University Honors program, Testing and Certification, the Math Learning Center, the University Center for Excellence in Writing, and the student athlete academic support center. 

His research focuses on various aspects of Environmental Engineering, Water/Wastewater Treatment, Solid/Hazardous Waste Management, Water Quality Modeling, Air Quality, Stormwater Management, and Pollution Prevention, as well as Undergraduate Research, Educational High-Impact Practices, and Student Success. He has been funded in part by grants from NSF, USEPA, state/local governments, and the private sector.

Dean's Assistant

Kathy Czaja, 561-297-0567,