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Neurobiologist Picked As New Provost At Pace University

Vanya Quiñones, Ph.D., a neurobiologist and biopsychologist, has been appointed new provost at Pace University effective July. 1.
Vanya Quiñones, Ph.D., a neurobiologist and biopsychologist, has been appointed new provost at Pace University effective July. 1. Photo Credit: Provided

Pace University President Marvin Krislov has announced that Vanya Quiñones, Ph.D., a neurobiologist and biopsychologist who serves as Associate Provost for Student Success and Retention at CUNY’s Hunter College, will assume the role of Provost of Pace, effective July 1.

Quiñones brings to Pace decades of experience in scientific research, academic administration, program- and research-focused fundraising, and a long record of working to improve diversity in science and the arts.

As a young researcher at The Rockefeller University, Quiñones realized that she saw few who looked like her. This led to her career-long focus on creating opportunities for underrepresented students across scientific disciplines and within the arts. Quiñones holds a bachelor’s degree in biology and master’s in cell biology from the University of Puerto Rico and a doctorate in neurobiology and physiology from Rutgers University.

“We were looking for a creative and inspiring provost,” Krislov said. “We found one in Dr. Quiñones. She has a compelling vision for our academic program, and she shares our commitment to diversity and inclusion. She’s an impressive academic, an inspirational leader and a champion of student success. Most important, she is a tireless advocate for the transformative impact of an education.”

“Pace University routinely demonstrates how higher education can change lives,” Quiñones said. “I have dedicated my career to improving minority representation in STEM and the arts, and Pace is the perfect place for me to build on that work. I’m honored to have been selected as provost and will work tirelessly to help faculty and students maximize their potential.”

Pace Board of Trustees Chairman Mark Besca added, “There has never been a more exciting time at Pace University. . . . I’m confident that with Dr. Quiñones serving as our new provost, Pace will build on its strong foundation of academic excellence and student achievement.”

Quiñones will succeed Interim Provost Nira Herrmann, Ph.D., who will reassume her role as dean of the Dyson College of Arts and Sciences at Pace. Herrmann has served as interim provost since July 2017, and will continue in that role for the remainder of this academic year. 

This appointment follows an exhaustive national search that included exceptional candidates from across the country.

Quiñones joined Hunter College in 1997 as an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology. As a tenured professor, she went on to lead its biopsychology and neuroscience doctoral graduate sub-program before assuming the role of department chair. During her 20 years at Hunter she has held numerous positions culminating in her current role as associate provost for student success and retention. A few highlights from her distinguished career include:

● Published more than 70 peer-reviewed articles and given over 200 presentations, monographs or invited papers.

● Brought more than $25 million in funding for Hunter from the NIH, private foundations, the Department of Education, among others grants. Many of the grants were to support underrepresented minorities, including the NIH’s Career Opportunities in Research and Enhancing Neuroscience Diversity through Undergraduate Education Experiences (ENDURE) programs.

● Supported cross-departmental infrastructure projects at Hunter, including renovating the Baker Theater Building and Library Learning Centers, developing a STEM flex laboratory, and design/renovation of the Online Technology Center.

● Increased department funding by $3.4 million during her six years as chair of Psychology (Hunter’s largest and highest extramurally funded department).

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