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Barbara Armstrong Appointed Dean of School of Arts & Design

Addition of Former Kahler-Slater Principal Advances Creative Campus Initiative

Barbara ArmstrongMILWAUKEE (January 15, 2014) – Mount Mary University President Eileen Schwalbach, Ph.D announced today that Barbara Armstrong has been appointed Dean of the School of Arts & Design. Armstrong, a prominent design professional and organizational leader with 30 years of experience, will oversee Mount Mary’s arts and design programs including fine art, art therapy (undergraduate, graduate and doctorate), fashion, and interior design. Armstrong most recently served as principal at Kahler Slater as a workplace experience strategist and co-team leader of the Culture Communications business unit, and leader of the research team on workplace environments.

Armstrong will also play an integral role in furthering the institution’s Creative Campus Initiative which infuses creative approaches in all areas of curriculum and student experience, and develops measurable outcomes in creative leadership competencies.  

"Barbara is very well positioned based on her academic background, professional experience and community service to lead our faculty through the many initiatives that result in developing our students as creative leaders. She is a facilitator of collaborative, interdisciplinary relationship building and will serve the larger University well in this role." said Karen Friedlen, Ph.D., Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs.

According to Armstrong, bringing her design and leadership expertise to an organization with a shared commitment to continuous learning and transformation is an exciting opportunity. “I’m thrilled to join the Mount Mary community where the integration of design thinking and creativity into all of its educational programs is actively underway,” Armstrong stated. “I look forward to working with faculty, staff, students and community leaders to realize Mount Mary’s vision for a creative campus,” she added.

Prior to her tenure at Kahler Slater, Armstrong served as Director of Administration of the YWCA, where she led the development of YW Works, the W2 agency. She is a recipient of numerous awards for her creativity and innovation, and conducts research on the integration and expression of culture in the workplace.

Armstrong has served on numerous boards, including Professional Dimensions, Future Milwaukee and WUWM Public Radio, My Home, Your Home, the Center for Communication, Hearing & Deafness, and the Southeastern Wisconsin Chapter of IFMA-the International Facilities Management Association.  

Armstrong holds a Master’s degree in Architecture from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a Bachelor’s degree in Art from Montclair State University. She is a graduate of the preeminent national women’s leadership development program of Leadership America.

Armstrong joins two other deans who are now at Mount Mary as part of a reconfigured university academic model:  Chioma Ugochukwu, Ph.D., Dean of the School of Social Sciences, Business and Education, and Kathleen Dougherty, Ph.D., Dean of the School of Humanities.