Sarajedini appointed associate dean in CLAS
GAINESVILLE, Fla .— University of Florida astronomy professor Ata Sarajedini has been named the associate dean for natural sciences and mathematics in UF’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
Sarajedini begins his position on Aug. 16 and replaces Alan Dorsey, a UF professor of physics who became dean of the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Georgia in July. In addition to working directly with departments in the natural sciences and mathematics, Sarajedini will serve as the college’s primary liaison with the UF Office of Research.
“He’s an accomplished scientist and has the relevant experience needed to become associate dean,” said Paul D’Anieri, CLAS dean. “He’s got the enthusiasm and we are looking forward to him joining our team.”
Sarajedini began his career on the faculty at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn., before joining the UF astronomy department in 2001 as an assistant professor. In his 11-year tenure at UF, Sarajedini has achieved a number of scholarly milestones including leading a large research project with the Hubble Space Telescope and leading UF’s participation in the USA Science and Engineering Expo held in Washington, DC. He was a University of Florida Research Foundation Professor from 2006 to 2009.
Sarajedini has been involved with the astronomy department’s effort to increase the number of underrepresented groups in the sciences. He led a proposal to the National Science Foundation to bring Florida International University students to UF to study astronomy and related sciences. FIU has the largest percentage of Hispanic undergraduate students in the country. The proposal would provide opportunities for Hispanic students to engage in research and education programs at UF that are not available to them at FIU.
Sarajedini is looking forward to fostering communication among the departments and centers in the division as well as representing their interests in the dean’s office. In addition, he would like to further explore the possibilities that distance learning may have for enhancing the curricular opportunities of the division.
“I’m looking forward to applying my experiences at UF to the position of associate dean,” he said. “It will certainly be challenging, but I think it will be rewarding at the same time.”