New associate dean for research and graduate education in College of Human Sciences


Courtesy of Brenda Lohman

Brenda Lohman became the new associate dean of research and graduate education for the College of Human Sciences in September.

Kiana Brincks

Brenda Lohman could not wait to break the news to her family. It had been a long four months, but well worth the effort and time committed.

Lohman received news of her promotion to the dean of research and graduate education in the College of Human Sciences in September after previously working as a professor for the college.

When she first heard of the position opening up, she knew this was a step up in her future that she was ready to take on.

“I had gotten a lot of feedback along the way that the changes I had made to the graduate program, myself and faculty here in graduate program, had gone well and I was encouraged to think about the next step in leadership,” Lohman said.

Lohman did not envision from the very beginning of her career that she would want an administrative position, but over her 14 years as a faculty member at Iowa State, she found herself realizing and thinking more about moving up in leadership.

“There have been a series of different people at different points in my time here that I have looked up to who helped support me,” Lohman said.

It was a four month process to choose the candidate for the position of associate dean for research and graduate education in the College of Human Sciences.

The news of the opening position came out last spring, and the application process started this past summer. This is when the search committee was formed.

The search committee consisted of seven members total, including the head of the committee, Phil Martin, a nominated graduate student, and someone from each department in the college.

Dean Human Sciences Laura Jolly oversaw the committee and made the final decision for the position.

“The position entails responsibility for working with faculty across the college to promote research, multidisciplinary research across the university and work with director of graduate education,” Jolly said.

The committee knew what type of person they were looking for to fill this important role. This search process took tedious time to ensure the new administrator was the right fit for the job.

It came down to two final candidates. These candidates went through multiple interviews and meetings with people throughout the college. Candidates met with staff in the college that worked in graduate education and research.

Then candidates also met with the search committee, key leaders within the college and eventually with Jolly.

“Both candidates were very strong. Lohman had been in her previous position in the college for years, so she has very strong experience,” Jolly said. “Lohman approaches research in a multidisciplinary way, and has very solid experience in those key areas related to this position.”

Jolly was confident in Lohman for the position, and Lohman was confident in herself that she would be able to handle this new leadership role.

“I like to juggle multiple different things. I am theory driven as well as statistical driven. I like to create a strategic plan and have an idea,” Lohman said. “I look forward to working with Laura to set a strategic plan and vision for what she sees for research, for what I see, and other faculty’s visions.”

Lohman has a goal to learn what the strengths are within the program and see how the position can support the needs of this program for faculty and students.

“The first goal is just to learn. This position encompasses a lot. I know I need to really learn and listen to those who are there and have been doing their jobs for a long time,” Lohman said.