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New CLA Associate Dean

Faculty and Staff Colleagues,

I am delighted to announce that Dr. Deborah Thien has accepted the position of Associate Dean for Enrollment Management and Student Success.  

As you know, Dr. Thien has served as interim associate dean for the last year, and she also served as interim director of the University Honors Program from 2015-2019 and as chair of the Department of Human Development from 2017-2019.  

Dr. Thien holds a bachelor’s degree in English and Women’s Studies from the University of Victoria, an MA in Gender Studies from the University of Northern Victoria, and a Ph.D. in Human Geography from the University of Edinburgh.  She joined the CSULB faculty in 2006 as an assistant professor in the Department of Geography, was tenured and promoted to associate professor in 2011, and was promoted to professor in 2015.  During her service at CSULB, she has been very active in shared governance: serving as an academic senator, chairing the college’s Educational Policy and Curriculum Committee, and chairing the University Honors Advisory Council—among many other contributions.  

Her research has explored issues such as gender and emotion in geography and other contexts, and she has published over two dozen articles, chapters, and encyclopedia entries.  In addition, she has served as editor of Emotion, Space and Society and served the Association of American Geographers on its Enhancing Diversity Committee and as chair of its Geographic Perspectives on Women initiative—among many other contributions to her profession.

During the last year, she has ably managed a challenging array of enrollment management and student success tasks–a feat the more impressive given the challenges created by the COVID-19 crisis.  In addition, she has served as a leader of initiatives amongst the university’s associate deans and, in collaboration with the CLA Faculty Council and the CSULB Faculty Center, created the college’s Early Leadership Program.

I hope you will join me in welcoming Deb to the permanent associate dean role as well as thanking her for her many contributions to the college and university throughout her career at CSULB as well as for her invaluable contributions in the last year.


David Wallace

Dean of College of Liberal Arts