Introducing the new College of Social Sciences dean

Dr. Elizabeth A. Lowham, a public policy scholar with expertise in the areas of leadership and management, analysis and organizational development, is the new dean of the College of Social Sciences at Fresno State. 

“Dr. Elizabeth A. Lowham is an award-winning teacher and public policy scholar with expertise in the areas of research methodology, leadership and management, policy analysis, and environmental policy,” said Dr. Xuanning Fu, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at Fresno State. “Over the course of her career, Dr. Lowham developed a reputation for holistic program building, student and faculty support, stakeholder facilitation and data-informed decision making.”

After earning a bachelor’s in geology from Carleton College, and a master’s and a doctorate in political science from the University of Colorado, Boulder, Lowham started as an assistant professor of political science at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

From 2007 through 2022 while at Cal Poly, Lowham held various administrative leadership positions, including director of the Master’s of Public Policy program, founding director of the Center for Expressive Technologies, director of the interdisciplinary studies major, director of the Science, Technology and Society Program, interim assistant chair of electrical engineering, and chair of political science. 

Since 2019, Lowham served as the interim dean of graduate education; as well as the administrator in charge for the Division of Research, Economic Development and Graduate Education starting in March 2021. She was appointed dean of the College of Social Sciences in June.

I’m excited to be part of a college and campus where the students, faculty and staff believe in the transformative power of education for individuals and our communities. As a college, we will continue the critical work to build and to expand communities committed to justice where everyone thrives,” Lowham said.

Lowham has received the Harold D. Lasswell Prize from the Society of Policy Scientists, the Cal Poly Academic Senate Distinguished Teaching Award, as well as college awards for teaching and service. Lowham’s scholarly publications and funded research in public policy focus on collaboration and using information to achieve better policy outcomes. Her research ranges from mental health, cybersecurity, K-12 education, the scholarship of teaching and learning, environmental policy and terrorism.

She looks forward to working with the college’s faculty, staff and students to create communities committed to justice, civic responsibility, diversity and service across the Central Valley and the state of California.

Lowham succeeds Interim Dean Segun Ogunjemiyo, who returns to his role as a faculty member in the Department of Geography and City and Regional Planning.

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