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Georgia Southern University appoints four new leaders to key roles

Georgia Southern University has tapped four new leaders for key academic roles this fall, including Ryan Schroeder, Ph.D., as Dean of the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences; Lisandra R. Carmichael, Ph.D., as Dean of University Libraries; Amy Heaston, Ed.D., as Interim Dean of the College of Education; and Stuart Tedders, Ph.D. (’87), as Interim Dean of the Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health.

“We are excited to welcome Dr. Ryan Schroeder, Dr. Lisandra Carmichael, Dr. Amy Heaston and Dr. Stuart Tedders, dynamic leaders who have the ability to further grow Georgia Southern’s programs and enrollments in their respective areas, encourage collaborative relationships across the community, and engage faculty in leadership development and mentoring,” stated Provost Carl Reiber, Ph.D. 

Ryan Schroeder, Ph.D.

For the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, Schroeder also holds a faculty appointment as a professor of criminal justice and criminology. He started his career at the University of Louisville as an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and rose through the ranks to professor and department chair. In the latter role, Schroeder’s successes included creating innovative programs, generating increased revenue, securing major endowed gifts and developing a strategic plan that guided goals and decision-making for his academic unit.

His research and teaching focus on crime over the life course; drug use; health, religion and crime; and parenting and family functioning. He has more than 35 publications, appearing in peer-reviewed journals such as Criminology, American Journal of Sociology, American Journal of Public Health and Deviant Behavior. Schroeder received a Doctor of Sociology from Bowling Green State University, with a focus on criminology and quantitative methods and statistics. He began his tenure on July 1. Previously, John Kraft, Ph.D., served as the interim dean, after the college was created during the reorganization process that was part of the consolidation of Georgia Southern and Armstrong State University.

Lisandra R. Carmichael, Ph.D.

Carmichael, who begins her new role on Aug. 1, will oversee library operations for all campuses. Moving from the University of North Florida where she served as the Interim and Associate Dean of Library, Carmichael oversaw the overall strategic planning, program management and marketing of the library. She also secured numerous external grants, leveraging funding to impact student success and the institution’s research activities.

Carmichael received a doctorate in philosophy from Florida State University, a master’s in library sciences and learning technologies from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a bachelor’s in English literature from the University of Puerto Rico – Rio Piedras. Georgia Southern’s previous Dean of Libraries Bede Mitchell, Ph.D., retired on July 1.

Amy Heaston, Ed.D.

In the College of Education, Heaston, a 30-year veteran of higher education, has a long-standing commitment to the University. Previously, she served as Chief of Staff in the Office of the President for both Georgia Southern and Armstrong State University. As well, Heaston served as associate provost at Georgia Southern, assisting with the delivery of the university’s key initiatives and overseeing the directors of the Center for Excellence in Teaching, First-Year Experience and University Honors programs. She led the Academic Advisement Council and served as the provost’s designated liaison to the Behavior Assessment Team, Enrollment Management Council, Faculty Service Committee, Faculty Welfare Committee, Strategic Planning Council and Undergraduate Committee.

A lifelong champion of education and advocate for students, Heaston directed Georgia Southern’s Field Experiences and Partnerships program and managed the Clinical Associate and Demonstration Teacher programs while establishing policies and procedures related to student and teacher exchanges for the International Learning Community. In addition, she was the Acting Chair of the Department of Early Childhood Education and Reading, where she spearheaded departmental curriculum, goals and program development.

Heaston holds an Ed.D. and Master of Education from Ball State University and was a professor of Early Childhood Education for more than 20 years. She has been published in numerous higher education journals and presented at national and international conferences on a broad range of topics, from retention and graduation to facilitating excellence in students and diversity in learning. Her role began on July 1, following the retirement of the previous dean, Thomas Koballa, Ph.D. 

Stuart Tedders, Ph.D.

Tedders is an original member of the Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health, which was founded in 2006, and is a professor of epidemiology. He has also served as the associate dean for Academic Affairs, director for the Center for Rural Health and Research and director of the Office of Public Health Practice and Community Service. 

Tedders has worked with rural and underserved communities in Georgia for nearly 25 years and was named the Georgia Rural Health Researcher of the Year in 1999 by the Georgia Rural Health Association. His community interactions have involved the application of epidemiologic principles, including public health surveillance, to more fully understand the complexities of rural population health status. He has extensive expertise in conducting community health assessments and working with rural communities to design and evaluate health promotion programs. 

A former assistant professor at Mercer University School of Medicine, Tedders earned a doctoral degree in public health from the University of South Carolina, a master’s in medical entomology from Clemson University and a bachelor’s in biology from Georgia Southern College. Tedders began his role on July 1, following the retirement of the former dean Greg Evans, Ph.D.

Georgia Southern University, a public Carnegie Doctoral/R2 institution founded in 1906, offers 141 degree programs serving nearly 26,500 students through nine colleges on three campuses in Statesboro, Savannah, Hinesville and online instruction. A leader in higher education in southeast Georgia, the University provides a diverse student population with expert faculty, world-class scholarship and hands-on learning opportunities. Georgia Southern creates lifelong learners who serve as responsible scholars, leaders and stewards in their communities. Visit


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