Lenoir-Rhyne names Michael M. Dempsey new dean, director at Asheville campus

Former A-B Tech educational partnerships director Michael Dempsey has been named dean and director of Lenoir-Rhyne University’s Center for Graduate Studies of Asheville. Here’s the announcement from Lenoir-Rhyne:

New Dean and Director named at Lenoir-Rhyne University Asheville campus

ASHEVILLE, N.C. —Dr. Michael M. Dempsey was appointed in April 2015 as the Dean and Director of Lenoir-Rhyne University’s Center for Graduate Studies of Asheville. He succeeds former and founding director, Dr. Paul Knott who retired in February of this year. The Center opened in August of 2012 in the Historic Montford area of Asheville and currently offers 10 master level graduate programs.

Dr. Dempsey came to Lenoir-Rhyne from Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College (A-B Tech), where he served in numerous capacities, most recently as director of educational partnerships. In this role, he provided leadership for the administration and growth of higher education-related academic programming and services for the college’s dual-enrollment programs, which provide high school students with access to college coursework. In addition, Dr. Dempsey oversaw the installment, operation, and expansion of A-B Tech college readiness centers, facilities located in local high schools that are designed to improve students’ math and English skills prior to high school graduation.

Dr. Dempsey’s other collegiate leadership experiences include building multiple community partnerships, management of recruitment efforts, and aiding in the creation and growth of three area cooperative-innovative high schools (Buncombe County Early College, Madison Early College High School, and the Martin L. Nesbitt Jr. Discovery Academy).

He has also taught college world history for a number of years, with particular emphasis on ancient Rome and ancient/medieval China and Japan. In addition to his work in higher education, Dr. Dempsey has more than eight years’ experience in journalism, and has worked for North Carolina-based newspapers in King, Asheboro, High Point, and Asheville. During this time, he served in various roles, including staff writer, editor, managing editor, copy editor, and page designer.

Dr. Dempsey holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the College of Charleston, a master’s degree in history from the University of Charleston/The Citadel, and a doctorate in educational leadership from Western Carolina University. His research interests include the professional relationships, leadership skills, and social traits that are necessary for the creation and maintenance of sound educational and community partnerships, as well as the impact that early-age college exposure can have on students’ overall educational trajectory and success.

Nearly 200 students are enrolled at the Center for Graduate Studies of Asheville, which offers graduate programs in business administration, community college administration, clinical mental health and school counseling, nursing, public health, religious studies, teaching, writing, dietetic internship, and sustainability studies. Programs are specifically designed to meet the needs of graduate students balancing work and school, offering evenings and weekend classes to offer flexibility in scheduling. Every program offers full-time, qualified faculty and staff who are readily available to answer questions and provide guidance to students as they plan for the future. Several open houses are scheduled during the summer months for anyone interested in learning more about higher education opportunities. The Center is now enrolling students for the fall semester. For more information or to register, visit asheville.lr.edu.

About Lenoir-Rhyne University:

Lenoir-Rhyne University was founded in Hickory, NC in 1891 and has been offering graduate education for more than 50 years. In 2012 the Center for Graduate Studies of Asheville was established to provide excellent graduate education that develops innovative leaders prepared to serve the current and future needs of Western North Carolina and beyond. More information is available at asheville.lr.edu.




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