Research Deans' Profiles
The Office of the Dean of Research for Arts and Sciences coordinates strategic planning and implementation for research in the School of Arts and Sciences. This office is responsible for research development and facilitation at the school and plays a key role in coordinating large, collaborative grants (across the school, University, and/or multiple institutions) and in fostering a culture that facilitates the acquisition of extramural support for research.
Ayanna K. Thomas
Dean of Research for Arts and Sciences
Professor of Psychology
Ayanna K. Thomas was named Dean of Research for the School of Arts and Sciences in 2021. Dean Thomas began her career at Tufts in 2007, when she joined the Department of Psychology as an Assistant Professor and established the Cognitive Aging and Memory Lab. She was promoted to the role of Associate Professor in 2013 and Professor in 2019. From 2016 to 2021 she served as Director of Graduate Studies for her department.
Dean Thomas received her PhD in Cognitive Psychology from the University of Washington, and then spent three years as an NIA postdoctoral fellow at Washington University in St. Louis, MO. Her research focuses on the relationship between memory and metamemory. She examines the role metamemory plays in memory acquisition, distortion, and access using a balanced approach towards basic and applied designs as they relate to education, eyewitness memory, and age-related changes in memory. Her more recent work has demonstrated that memory errors can be exacerbated when people are not able to exercise metacognitive control at retrieval.
Associate Dean of Research for Arts and Sciences
Associate Dean of Diversity & Inclusion, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
Jacqueline (Jackie) Dejean assumed the role of assistant dean of research in 2017, and was promoted to associate dean in early 2022. She is tasked with advancing the strategic research agenda of the school of arts and sciences including program development to achieve strategic goals. She has been launching new programs furthering that mission, most notable of which is the VERSE Program.
Previously, Dean Dejean held positions as director of research affairs and medical college associate vice president of grants and research. She has spent over 20 years in the field of research administration at teaching, research, and medical institutions. She has a long history of civic engagement around diversity and inclusion. She completed her doctorate in law and policy at Northeastern University. She holds an AB from Brown University and a master’s in organizational psychology from William James College (formerly the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology).