The Campolo College of Graduate and Professional Studies will soon welcome Dr. Debra Heath-Thornton, Ed. D., who will be serving as the Dean beginning in July 2009.
Heath-Thornton is replacing former Dean Tony Blair who returned to his position as a faculty member of CCGPS in the fall of 2008.
Heath-Thornton’s appointment was a result of Eastern’s national search for a Dean. She holds an Ed. D. degree in Educational Leadership from Margaret Warner Graduate School of Education and Human Development at the University of Rochester.
Until making her transition to CCGPS, Heath-Thornton will hold her current position of full professor and chair of the department of sociology, social work and criminal justice at Messiah College.
Before entering the field of education, Heath-Thornton, who also earned the M.S. degree in criminal justice from State University of New York College at Buffalo, followed her interest in criminal justice.
Early in her career, she served as a criminal justice administrator at the local county level.
“From there I began teaching and could feel the Lord speak to my heart as I engaged in the integration of faith and learning,” she said. “I’ve been passionate about the transformative effects of faith, justice and reason since that time.”
According to Heath-Thornton, a Dean has a broad range of responsibilities.
“I believe the Dean serves as the moral compass for the areas for which they provide leadership,” she said.
“I feel called to a position such as this, and I am of the firm belief that God never gives us a calling that He won’t equip us to fulfill.”