Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Clayton State Adds Dr. Lila Roberts, Dean of the College of Information and Mathematical Sciences

Clayton State University welcomes Dr. Lila F. Roberts, new dean of the University’s College of Information and Mathematical Sciences (CIMS). Roberts officially starts her duties this fall semester.

CIMS houses the University’s undergraduate Information Technology degree programs and the institution’s Mathematics degree program – a pairing that Roberts calls “unique” in the University System of Georgia.

“The organizational structure of the CIMS is unique in the University System and this organization presents both exciting potential and interesting challenges,” she says. “I [am] impressed with the talent and potential in both departments, the prospect of expanding and developing new programs and the enthusiasm and supportive nature of this administration.”

The fact that CIMS houses IT and mathematics under the same roof intrigues Roberts, and she hopes to foster a sense of community among CIMS’ faculty and students as well as extend the collaborative spirit of the college into other disciplines.

“One way we might do that is to develop a concentration area in Computational Sciences, which would have a multi-disciplinary focus so students can experience how important mathematics and computing are in a variety of settings. Mathematical biology and bioinformatics are ‘hot’ areas of research… building such programs will help us to cross college boundaries…”

Roberts is also committed to community outreach and hopes that Clayton State can nourish existing partnerships with local school systems and establish new ones.

Addressing the need for strong mathematics skills before students reach the college level, Roberts says, “Outreach by Clayton State University Mathematics faculty is critical to the region in terms of improving elementary, middle school and high school student preparation in mathematics. One way our faculty is reaching this population of students is by providing content enhancement to teachers in the surrounding counties.”

On the home front, Roberts will also encourage the development of the proposed Master of Science in Teaching (MAT) in Mathematics and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science with an emphasis on game design and development.

A native of rural western North Carolina, Roberts holds a B.S. in Mathematics Education from North Carolina State University and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Computational and Applied Mathematics from Old Dominion University. Prior to her appointment as dean of the College of Information and Mathematical Sciences, Roberts served as chair of the Department of Mathematics at Georgia College & State University from 2003 to 2008.

Roberts and her husband, Dr. Lonnie Roberts, recently celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary. They currently live in Fayetteville and have two feline children, who, according to Roberts, “allow us to live in their home.” Woody is a four-year-old Seal Point Siamese and Lucy is a four-year-old Tortie Siamese. Both animals are rescues.

And if you’re wondering whether the CIMS dean spends time with technology when she’s off the clock, Roberts is a self-proclaimed technology junkie. Want proof? She owns seven iPods.

“If something has a computer chip, I’m interested in it.”

Always education minded, Roberts enjoys developing strategies for using technological innovations to enhance learning. Roberts’ project Demos with Positive Impact, funded by the National Science Foundation, won the 2008 MERLOT Award for Exemplary Learning Materials. She is currently developing a website that makes Demos with Positive Impact web pages and multimedia materials accessible to students and instructors who have low hearing or vision.

To learn more about Roberts, email lilaroberts@clayton.edu.

A unit of the University System of Georgia, Clayton State University is an outstanding comprehensive metropolitan university located 15 miles southeast of downtown Atlanta.

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