Dr. Angela Rowe McDonald Announced as First Dean of the School of Health Studies and Education

Arriving from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, McDonald brings strong experience as leader of UNC’s colleges of health sciences

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

PHILADELPHIA (April 24, 2019) — Saint Joseph’s University announced this week that Angela Rowe McDonald, Ph.D., LPCS, NCC, an accomplished higher education administrator, faculty member and health practitioner will serve as the inaugural dean of the University’s School of Health Studies and Education.

McDonald currently serves as interim dean of the College of Health Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke (UNC Pembroke), a newly established school that offers undergraduate and graduate programs in areas such as nursing, health promotion, exercise sports science, physical education, social work and counseling programs. Her experience coincides ideally with the strategic plans of Saint Joseph’s, which revealed in July 2018 its intention to open its first school in more than 30 years, bringing together well-established education and health-related undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs.

Prior to her role with UNC Pembroke’s College of Health Sciences, McDonald served as associate dean of the university’s School of Education, chaired the department of educational leadership and counseling, and was the director for the clinical mental health counseling program on campus.

McDonald says she was drawn to the position at Saint Joseph’s because of how uniquely the school aligned with her expertise and because of the University’s choice to connect the often-separated disciplines of health and education. The combination, aimed at fostering an environment that will prepare future business, academic and community leaders who understand the critical role that health and education play in the advancement of individuals and societies, was an important decision in McDonald’s view.

Shaily Menon, Ph.D., dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, who served as chair of the search committee, said that McDonald’s experience in guiding the establishment of a new school, launching new programs and accreditations, and expanding interdisciplinary efforts were some of the things that stood out to the committee.

“It was clear to us that Dr. McDonald is a leader who has the capability to move the School of Health Studies and Education forward,” said Menon. “She will work to help the individual disciplines define and grow their strengths but also to find the connection points, opportunities for interdisciplinary work and partnerships that will help the University to thrive.”

Menon said McDonald also showed deep appreciation for the University’s Jesuit identity.

“The more I read about the Jesuit values and tradition, the commitment to social justice and focus on the whole person, the more I was drawn to Saint Joseph’s,” said McDonald. “Saint Joseph’s University is a place that truly lives its mission and is authentic to those values.

“I look forward to joining this campus community, and collaborating with President Mark Reed’s leadership team, including the new provost, Dr. McConnell, and my fellow deans.”

McDonald, who will join the educational leadership faculty at SJU, earned her Ph.D. in counselor education and supervision from the College of William & Mary and an M.S. Ed. in community agency counseling from Old Dominion University, her undergraduate alma mater. Prior to joining UNC Pembroke in 2008, McDonald served as a family counselor in private practice for many years.


Founded in 1851 in the Jesuit tradition of academic excellence, Saint Joseph’s University is a top-ranked Catholic University that provides a rigorous, student-centered education. With a total enrollment of 8,000 undergraduate and graduate students, SJU offers a wide array of academic programs designed so that each graduate enters the world with a competitive resume and global perspective. This is achieved through intense academic study led by thought-leading faculty scholars, a comprehensive campus experience and robust study abroad, service-learning, internship and co-op programs. Upon graduation, nearly 100 percent of students are employed, pursuing advanced degrees or volunteering in prestigious service programs. A member of the Atlantic 10 Conference, SJU offers 20 Division I intercollegiate men’s and women’s sports. SJU alumni — over 68,000 strong — provide a powerful network that spans the globe.

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