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School of Arts and Sciences

Leadership Team

Joseph AunerJoseph Auner
Dean of Academic Affairs for Arts and Sciences

Austin Fletcher Professor of Music

Dean Auner came to Tufts in 2006 to become chair of the music department. In addition to serving on several committees, he is a member of the CHAT advisory board, is affiliated faculty with the Music Engineering minor and the new Science, Technology, and Society program, and has been Tufts' faculty representative to the a2ru (Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities) consortium, a national network of institutions committed to the arts and arts-integrative research, curricula, and creative practice. He earned his Ph.D. from The University of Chicago and is a scholar of 20th- and 21st-century music who has won numerous awards and honors, including fellowships from the Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung and the J. Paul Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities. In 2014 he won the Tufts Distinguished Scholar Award and an honorary doctorate from his alma mater, The Colorado College.

He has served as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of the American Musical Society, General Editor of Garland/Routledge Studies in Contemporary Music and Culture, and as vice president of The American Musicological Society. Dean Auner also has extensive experience in university administration, having served as associate provost at SUNY Stony Brook, where he oversaw several large-scale projects such as the creation of a winter term, the development of an initiative to connect arts, humanities, and social science departments, and the implementation of a new department review system.

Nancy BauerNancy Bauer
Dean of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts
Dean of Academic Affairs for Arts and Sciences

Professor of Philosophy

Nancy Bauer is Dean of Academic Affairs for Arts and Sciences and Professor of Philosophy. She joined the Tufts faculty in 1998, after completing her doctorate in philosophy at Harvard University, from which she also holds a bachelor of arts in social studies and a master of theological studies. Her areas of specialization include feminist philosophy, phenomenology, philosophy and film, and ordinary language philosophy. She is the author of Simone de Beauvoir, Philosophy, and Feminism (2001) and How to Do Things With Pornography (forthcoming), and is currently working on a guidebook to Beauvoir's The Second Sex. A former Radcliffe fellow, she has also written numerous articles about the philosophical dimensions of real-world issues for both academic and nonacademic publications, including n+1, The New York Times, and The Tehran Times.

Dean Bauer has served as director of graduate Studies and as chair of the Department of Philosophy. She has also served on the executive boards of the international relations, women's studies, peace and justice studies, and communication and media studies programs. Her teaching awards at Tufts include the Joseph A. and Lillian Leibner Award for Distinguished Advising and Teaching, the Undergraduate Initiative in Teaching Award, and Tufts Community Senate Professor of the Year.

Barbara BrizuelaBárbara M Brizuela
Dean of Academic Affairs for Arts and Sciences
Professor of Education

Dean Brizuela joined the Tufts faculty in 2001, after completing her doctorate at Harvard University's Graduate School of Education. She completed her undergraduate degrees in Argentina and her masters degree at Tufts University's Department of Education. She was a school teacher in Argentina before coming to the United States. Her areas of specialization include mathematics education, early childhood education, and cognitive development. She is the author of Mathematical Development in Young Children: Exploring Notations (2004, Teachers College Press), a co-author of Bringing Out the Algebraic Character of Arithmetic: From Children's Ideas to Classroom Practice (2007, Lawrence Erlbaum and Associates, with A. Schliemann and D. Carraher), and a co-editor of three volumes. She has also written numerous articles for some of the leading journals in the field as well as book chapters about children's mathematics education. Her scholarship has been published in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.

Dean Brizuela has served as director of the STEM Education program and as chair of the Department of Education. She has been a Spencer Foundation research training grantee at Harvard Graduate School of Education, a Fulbright Senior Scholar, and a Schuster Family Faculty Fellow in Arts & Sciences (Tufts University). Her research has been funded by the Spencer Foundation, General Electric Foundation, and the National Science Foundation. At Tufts University, she has received the Teaching and Mentoring Award from the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.

Robert CookRobert Cook
Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
Dean of Research for Arts and Sciences
Dean of Academic Affairs for Arts and Sciences
Professor of Psychology

Dean Cook began his career at Tufts in 1986 as an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology. He was promoted to full professor in 1999, and served as department chair from 2005 to 2011. As dean, Dr. Cook supports our current graduate programs at all levels. This includes strengthening the quality and diversity of the graduate student body and integrating career and professional development training in our student education. Dean Cook has studied animal cognition and behavior for more than 25 years. His comparative research, supported by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health, has focused on stimulus control, discrimination learning, and memory in animals. In particular, he is interested in the mechanisms of visual perception and discrimination learning in pigeons and starlings, and their comparative relations to our own perception of the world.

Dean Cook received a B.S. in psychology from Ohio State University and his doctorate in biopsychology from the University of California, Berkeley. He is co-founder and current publisher of Comparative Cognition & Behavior Reviews and has served on the editorial boards of the top journals in animal cognition. Dr. Cook is a member of the American Psychological Association and a past president of the Comparative Cognition Society.

Christopher HelmuthChristopher Helmuth
Executive Administrative Dean

As Executive Administrative Dean, Chris Helmuth is the lead administrative representative for the School of Arts and Sciences overseeing the effective use of the school’s resources including personnel, budgets, technology, and facilities. He is also responsible for strategic planning and assessment, financial management and oversight, space planning, and school-based technology.

Previously, Chris served from 2015 to 2018 as Director of Budget Services at Tufts for the Boston Health Sciences Campus including the School of Medicine, the School of Dental Medicine, the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, and the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (HNRCA). Chris has a wealth of experience in financial and administrative management in higher education. Prior to coming to Tufts, he worked at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health for nine years, most recently as the Director of Finance & Administration for the Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases. Chris earned his Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Emerson College where he wrote literary fiction, and his B.A. in English from Grove City College.

Nancy MahlerNancy Mahler
Senior Director of Development, School of Arts and Sciences

As Senior Director of Development, Nancy Mahler leads the major gifts team - the frontline fundraisers for the Tufts Fund for Arts & Sciences and Engineering, Hillel and the Parents Program. She brings more than 20 years of management, development and legal experience to the role.

Nancy began her advancement career in 1999 at Tufts. After leaving Tufts, Nancy was Vice President for the Charitable Asset Management Group of State Street Global Advisors and then Relationship Manager at Kaspick & Company. In both positions, Nancy served as a consultant to college and universities throughout the country and oversaw client service teams. Prior to working in advancement, Nancy practiced law with firms in Philadelphia and Boston.

Nancy received her B.A in political science, magna cum laude, from Tufts University and her J.D. from Boston University School of Law. A frequent speaker at development conferences, she has addressed groups on a variety of fundraising topics such as outright gifts of business interests and blended gifts.  

Mary Pat McMahonMary Pat McMahon
Dean of Student Affairs

Dean McMahon came to Tufts in 2014 from Bowdoin College, where she held various roles with responsibility for building an inclusive learning community and supporting individual students for nearly 12 years. Prior to Bowdoin, she was associate director of the doctoral program at New York University Stern School of Business, and earlier was the assistant director of undergraduate admissions at Yale.

At Tufts, Dean McMahon oversees the Division of Student Affairs, including career services, student accessibility, campus and residential life, and health and counseling services. Under her leadership of these critical areas, she shares responsibility for addressing matters concerning judicial affairs, social justice, diversity and inclusion, civility, and leadership development. She is further involved in fostering meaningful growth and connection in the undergraduate and graduate student co-curricular experience.

Dorothy MeaneyDorothy Meaney
Director, Tisch Library

Dorothy Meaney As library director, Dorothy supports the mission of the university and the Schools of Arts, Sciences and Engineering. In addition to managing the day-to-day operation of the libraries, her responsibilities include facilitating and managing teams and resources for large and small projects involving faculty, staff, students and senior administration. She also oversees and supports the Lilly Music Library and the W. Van Alan Clark, Jr. Library at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts.

Prior to coming to Tufts, Dorothy was the director for university planning and assessment in the President's office at Drew University, where she worked for 11 years in positions of increasing responsibility. She served in the library as head of collections and metadata services, participated in the Library/IT review team, and led various groups in developing and implementing the library's strategic plan. During her career, she has been deeply involved in leading change and setting priorities in a rapidly evolving, technology-driven environment. For five years, Dorothy was an elected official, serving on the school board of Madison, NJ, and rising up to the presidency of the board.

Dorothy received her B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies from Georgetown University, and her MLIS from Rutgers University.

Karen RichardsonKaren Richardson
Dean of Undergraduate Admissions and Enrollment Management

Karen Richardson joined Tufts in 2008 as director of diversity recruitment, and has since been a tireless ambassador for the School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Engineering. She helped develop and expand the Voices of Tufts Diversity Experience recruitment program, which led to a steady increase in the number of applications from students of color and first-generation college students.

As the founding director of graduate admissions for Arts, Sciences and Engineering Dean Richardson expanded graduate student recruitment efforts, improved efficiency in application processing, and increased the number of doctoral applications and master's degree applications.

Dean Richardson has a bachelor's degree from Princeton University – she is the first generation in her family to attend college – and a master's degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her career in education has focused on college admissions and K-12 public school administration, including work as Princeton's assistant dean for undergraduate admissions and deputy superintendent of the Boston Public Schools for family and community engagement.

Amanda RowleyAmanda Rowley
Director of Communications, School of Arts and Sciences

As Director of Communications, Amanda leads the integrated communications strategy for the School of Arts and Sciences. She and her team provide marketing support, strategic communications, and branding guidance to the School of Arts and Sciences, SMFA at Tufts, and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences with the goal of enhancing their reputation and visibility to audiences within and beyond Tufts.

Prior to joining Tufts, Amanda held various roles in both the corporate and nonprofit and university sectors. Most recently, she was the Manager of Corporate Communications at AXA Art Americas Corporation, an international specialty fine art insurer, where she oversaw the communications and marketing strategy for the company’s business across North and South America. She has also held positions at Harvard Medical School and Preserve Rhode Island. Amanda received her B.A in Art History and Architectural Studies, magna cum laude, from Tufts University and her M.S. in Integrated Marketing with a concentration in Digital Marketing from New York University.


Erin SullivanErin Sullivan
Secretary of the Faculty

In her role as secretary of the faculty for the Schools of Arts, Sciences and Engineering, Erin supports the academic mission of the university, providing advice on faculty governance, and managing the processes that link the two schools to the Provost's office.

Prior to joining Tufts in 2017, Erin was the Assistant Director for Faculty Affairs at Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she managed faculty searches and oversaw multiple promotion and tenure processes. Earlier, she managed the faculty recruitment process for the MIT Skoltech Initiative at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Erin’s experience in higher ed administration and in consulting includes career services, executive search, faculty recruitment, and management of standing processes related to hiring, promotion, and annual reporting.

Erin earned her Ed.M. in higher education at Harvard Graduate School of Education, and her B.A. in sociology-based human relations from Connecticut College.