Renowned Administrator, Professor, and Mentor Takes the Helm as Dean of UMD's College of Behavioral and Social Sciences - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Renowned Administrator, Professor, and Mentor Takes the Helm as Dean of UMD's College of Behavioral and Social Sciences

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SOURCE University of Maryland

COLLEGE PARK, Md., June 12, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The University of Maryland today announced the appointment of Gregory F. Ball, Ph.D., as the new Dean of the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences (BSOS). BSOS is the umbrella college of 10 academic departments and six major research centers dedicated to exploration of individual and group behavior as well as political, social, legal and economic progress. Ball's exemplary track record across the broad spectrum of behavioral and life sciences research and discovery make him the ideal leader of the college.

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In his new role, Dr. Ball will draw upon his prior work as Vice Dean for Science and Research Infrastructure in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences at Johns Hopkins University. During his tenure at JHU, Dr. Ball fostered collaboration amongst the chairs of the school's natural science departments and supported them in all aspects of their mission from undergraduate and graduate education to infrastructure enhancements and faculty recruitment and retention. He shepherded through the development and construction of the new 70,000 sq. ft. Undergraduate Teaching Laboratory building that has helped transform science education at Johns Hopkins.  He also served as a Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences in the Krieger School and helped to spearhead the creation of the undergraduate neuroscience major in the 1990s.

Dr. Ball's academic research and subsequent theories concerning interrelationships among steroid hormones, the brain, and reproductive behavior received continuous support from NIH for over 20 years. His academic record and ability to create opportunities for interdisciplinary endeavors is vital to this position, with BSOS boasting the largest number of departments on campus.

"Dr. Ball is an extraordinary scientist, scholar and administrator," says Mary Ann Rankin, UMD's senior vice president and provost. "He will be a visionary and inspiring leader for the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences and a catalyst for important interdisciplinary opportunities across campus and beyond. I am absolutely delighted that he will be joining our wonderful team of UMD deans."

Aside from Dr. Ball's significant academic accomplishments, which include the production of more than 220 research publications, 13,000 citations and an H-index of 61 on the subject of interrelationships among steroid hormones, the brain and reproductive behavior, he has always maintained a steadfast commitment to undergraduate and graduate teaching. During his time at Hopkins, 10 of his students earned a Ph.D. and he sponsored 10 post-doctoral fellows, many of whom are now in academic positions. He has received major recognition from Johns Hopkins through receipt of the Alumni Association Award and the George Owen Teaching Award, in observance of his exemplary undergraduate instruction.

"I am delighted to take on the challenge and opportunity of leading such an excellent and diverse institution as the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences at the University of Maryland," says Dr. Ball. "It will be an honor and a privilege to support the research and teaching mission of the outstanding faculty at this college."

As addendums to his long list of accomplishments, Johns Hopkins also extended joint appointments in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Division of Reproductive Biology and the Department of Neuroscience. Dr. Ball's research primarily involved scientific queries into the interrelationships among steroid hormones and reproductive behaviors in birds. A more granular focus involved studies of hormone-induced adult neuroplasticity related to vocal behavior in a seasonal context.

Dr. Ball holds a B.A. in psychology from Columbia University and a Ph.D. in psychology from the Institute of Animal Behavior at Rutgers University. He completed his postdoctoral work in Comparative Neuroendocrinology & Ethology at Rockefeller University.

About the University of Maryland

The University of Maryland is the state's flagship university and one of the nation's preeminent public research universities. A global leader in research, entrepreneurship and innovation, the university is home to more than 37,000 students, 9,000 faculty and staff, and 250 academic programs. Its faculty includes three Nobel laureates, two Pulitzer Prize winners, 49 members of the national academies and scores of Fulbright scholars. The institution has a $1.8 billion operating budget, secures $500 million annually in external research funding and recently completed a $1 billion dollar fundraising campaign.

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