Campus presentations by VPR/Graduate School dean finalists scheduled

Editor’s note: Due to the weather as of Feb. 15, two campus presentations have been rescheduled. The updated dates and times are below.

Four finalists for the Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School will be on campus Feb. 15–24. Public presentations on the topic, “Vision of Research and Graduate Study in a 21st-Century Land Grant University,” will be followed by question-and-answer sessions, and receptions at the same locations. The campus community is encouraged to attend.

All campus presentations will be held at 57 Stodder Hall and will be followed by a reception in the same location.

Charles Amlaner Jr.
Noon–1 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 15

Donald Peterson
1–2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17

Carol Kim
1:30–2:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 20

Kody Varahramyan
1:30–2:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24

Short biographies of the candidates follow; full-length versions are available by contacting Dianne Avery,; 581.1595.

Dr. Charles Amlaner Jr. currently serves as the founding Vice President of Research, and is a Professor of Neurosciences and Animal Behavior at Kennesaw State University (KSU), Kennesaw, Georgia. He serves as the Chief Operations Officer of the KSU Research and Service Foundation, Inc., the main intake portal for all sponsored projects, intellectual property processing, and economic development including startup operations. Dr. Amlaner also served as the Graduate Dean for the Graduate College at KSU from 2009–15. Dr. Amlaner Chaired Departments of Zoology, Life Sciences, and Ecology & Organismal Biology spanning a 23-year period at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville and Indiana State University (ISU). He also served as an Administrative Fellow (Assistant Dean) for Research and Graduate Affairs in the College of Arts and Sciences at ISU. With this academic and administrative background, he managed a broad array of academic degree programs, established a wildlife and fisheries cooperative research unit, directed major multidisciplinary grant research projects, managed a $30 million to $33 million grant/contract portfolio, supervised complex university building and renovation projects, and organized strategic and tactical administrative matters pertaining to all aspects of faculty life in a multidisciplinary academic environment. Dr. Amlaner is the founding director of the Animal Sleep Research Group. For over 30 years, this group was responsible for studying the evolutionary significance of sleep in animals. Dr. Amlaner is best known for his work in biotelemetry and radio tracking.

Dr. Donald Peterson is a tenured Professor of Engineering and recently served as the Dean of the College of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics at Texas A&M University in Texarkana. He is a joint professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering (BMEN) at Texas A&M University in College Station and is also a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE). Before arriving at Texas A&M in 2014, he was an Associate Professor of Medicine and the Director of the Biodynamics Laboratory in the School of Medicine at the University of Connecticut. Dr. Peterson has a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering and a B.S. in Biomechanical Engineering from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute and a M.S. in Mechanical Engineering and a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from the UConn. He has 20 years of experience in academia in engineering and medicine, and also served as the co-Executive Director of the Biomedical Engineering Alliance and Consortium, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion of collaborative research, translation and partnership among academic, medical, industry and entrepreneurial professionals in the development and support of new medical technologies and devices. Dr. Peterson has over 20 years of experience in engineering and medical research, which has been focused on measuring and modeling injury biomechanics and human, organ, and/or cell performance, including exposures to various physical stimuli and the subsequent biological responses. His research also involves the investigation of injury mechanisms and human–device interaction.

Dr. Carol Kim is the Vice President for Research, Dean of the Graduate School, and a Full Professor at the University of Maine. She received her Bachelor of Arts degrees in Biological Chemistry and Philosophy from Wellesley College and her Ph.D. in Microbiology from Cornell University. After completing her postdoctoral training at Molecular Probes, Inc. and Oregon State University, Dr. Kim joined the University of Maine in 1998 as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Molecular and Biomedical Sciences. In 1999, she established the University of Maine Zebrafish Facility, a shared resource for university researchers, and pioneered the use of the zebrafish model for infectious disease research. Her work has been supported by numerous federal and state funding agencies including the NIH, NSF, USDA and NASA. Prior to her appointment as Vice President for Research in 2013, and Dean of the Graduate School in 2014, Dr. Kim served as the Director of the Graduate School of Biomedical Science and Engineering, a statewide, multi-institutional school that supports Maine’s growing biomedical research and training efforts. In her current position, Dr. Kim is responsible for supporting and expanding the impressive breadth and depth of research and creative activities of the University of Maine community, and overseeing the growth, development and administration of graduate programs, a fundamental component of university research and scholarship.

Dr. Kody Varahramyan has a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 10 years of industry experience at IBM Corporation, and over two decades of academic experience as a faculty member and administrator, first at Louisiana Tech University, and subsequently at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). He has authored or co-authored close to 200 papers in journals and conference proceedings, received seven patents, and secured over $31 million of external funding as the PI or Co-PI of grants supportive of new research and educational programs. He has also gained experience and established a successful track record as an administrator, with appointments at the departmental, college and university levels, including as Vice Chancellor for Research and Senior Aide to the Chancellor at IUPUI. At both academic institutions he has led the realization of major strategic initiatives advancing academic excellence and student success, significant growth in research and scholarly activity, and substantial increase in community engagement.