Coleen Pugh named dean of Wichita State Graduate School


Courtesy of Wichita State University

Coleen Pugh is the new dean of the Wichita State Graduate School.

Coleen Pugh is the new dean of the Wichita State Graduate School and associate vice president for Research and Technology Transfer, according to a university release. Pugh was a professor of Polymer Science at the University of Akron in Ohio.

Provost Rick Muma made the appointment.

“Pugh will focus immediately on connecting the graduate school’s priorities to WSU’s focus as an urban public research university by growing graduate program enrollment, developing innovative academic offerings for students seeking new degree options and alternative credentials, building, leading and growing university-wide, faculty-based research initiatives, and increasing private fundraising to support graduate school initiatives,” Muma said.

Pugh has been with the Department of Polymer Science in the College of Polymer Studies at the University of Akron for 20 years. She has also served as chair of her department and has served on the university’s Graduate Council of the Faculty Senate.

Pugh hopes to bring a new polymer synthesis lab to campus to focus on funded research “and the creation of plant-based composites built almost entirely out of biomass.”

“Part of my attraction to WSU is the willingness to experiment and collaborate, which is important in my line of work to push the boundaries and look for new directions,” Pugh said in the release.

She earned two bachelor’s degrees from the University of California, Davis, in textile science and chemistry and a master’s and Ph.D. in macromolecular science from Case Western Reserve University.

The Graduate School was looking for a new dean after Dean Dennis Livesay was announced as the dean of the Engineering School. She will take over for Kerry Wilks, who served as the interim dean since January 1. Pugh will take over as dean July 28.