About the Dean

DeanMarySpotoMary T. Spoto, Ph.D.
Dean, School of Arts and Sciences
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Dr. Mary T. Spoto is the dean of The School of Arts and Sciences and a professor of English. She has been a member of Saint Leo University for over 25 years and before serving as dean was the chair of The Department of English, Fine Arts, and Humanities, now referred to as the Department of Language Studies and the Arts. She received her BA, MA, and PhD in English from The University of South Florida. As dean, she has been a leader in the development of the university’s general education program, University Explorations, designed with specially created, unique courses to help students recognize the importance of the liberal arts to their larger learning. She has expanded the fine arts programs at the university, now with thriving vocal ensembles and small instrumental ensembles, new applied art courses, and new facilities for music, art studios and gallery, and a new black box theatre, which opened Spring 2016.

Among her other work, she has worked with faculty on the development of new academic programs like the Bridge Program for second-language learners, increased foreign language offerings, and the development of new graduate programs including a low-residency program in creative writing and an upcoming social sciences offering.

She also heads up the Writing Across the Curriculum and Reading Across the Curriculum initiatives that provide training for faculty to incorporate effective writing and reading practices into their classes. With her emphasis on developing effective teachers, she was appointed the chair of the Professionalization of the Peer Observation Process Committee that developed a peer-observation process that trains faculty peer-observers to provide evidence-based, reliable feedback for full- and part-time teachers at the university to improve teaching practices.

Dr. Spoto is the editor ofREBUS, the magazine of The School of Arts and Sciences, published by the school and its Faculty Council. She has co-authored books on values education and a brief history of Saint Leo and presented numerous papers at national and international conferences on general education reform, academic integrity, and the first-year experience. She currently serves on the Dade City Center for the Arts and Pepin Academies-Pasco boards of directors.

Click here to read a guest opinion column co-authored by Dr. Spoto with President William J. Lennox Jr., PhD, on the importance of liberal arts: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/opinion/