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Spina named next dean of Education and Human Development

Robert SpinaAfter an exhaustive national search, President Kenneth Evans has named Robert Spina as dean of Lamar University’s College of Education and Human Development.

Spina, who has more than 25 years of combined teaching, research and service, will succeed Bill Holmes, who has been serving as interim dean since August 2014, and Hollis Lowery-Moore, who served as dean, 2004-2014. Spina will assume his duties on July 1, 2015.

Spina, who holds a Ph.D. in health, physical and recreation education from the University of Pittsburgh, is currently associate dean of undergraduate education and college assessment at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va. 

He has served more than 10 years as a department chair and two years as an associate dean, gaining expertise in strategic planning and budgeting as well as knowledge of academic programming, learning assessment, enrollment management, institutional studies, grants administration, accreditation, general education and distance learning.

Spina joined the faculty of Old Dominion University in 2006, and has served there as professor and department chair, Department of Human Movement Sciences; interim associate dean for undergraduate education, Darden College of Education; and interim department chair, Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and Professional Studies, Darden College of Education before assuming his present position in 2013.

Prior to joining Old Dominion, Spina was associate dean and graduate coordinator for the College of Health and Human Services, San Francisco State University, 2003-2006.  He was provost research enhancement professor, Department of Child, Family and Community Sciences, College of Education, University of Central Florida, 2001-2003. Spina served at University of Texas at Austin, 1998-2001, as an associate professor in kinesiology and health education and coordinator of graduate level clinical exercise physiology.

In 2008, Spina was elected an Active Fellow of the National Academy of Kinesiology. At the time of his election only 493 members had been named since 1930. 
He is also a Fellow in the American College of Sports Medicine. He was an invited participant in the Summer Institute in Research on Aging, The Brookdale Foundation and the National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, in 1989.

An active researcher, he has been investigator or principal investigator under several grants from the NIH in the areas of exercise and aging.  His published research includes 57 articles in scholarly journals, 4 invited book chapters, and 15 abstracts presented at scientific national meetings.

He has served as a reviewer for the Journal of Applied Physiology and the American Journal of Physiology, and as an abstract and grant reviewer for the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.  Spina has been an active participant in the accreditation process, for institutions where he as worked and also as a site visitor for the Committee on Accreditation for the Exercise Sciences and Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.

He was on the faculty at Washington University School of Medicine, 1990-1998. Before joining the faculty there, he was a post-doctoral research fellow on a National Institutes of Health training grant conducting research studies on the physiological adaptations to exercise in young and older individuals. He served as a research and graduate teaching assistant at the University of Pittsburgh, 1982-1988, and a teaching fellow and research assistant at Queens College, City University of New York, 1980-1982.

Spina and his wife, Elizabeth, who is a registered dietitian, have a daughter, Andrea.