Tassinary named college's associate dean for research

To emphasize and reinforce research initiatives at Texas A&M’s College of Architecture, last fall Dean J. Thomas Regan created an associate dean of research position and, after an extensive internal search, appointed architecture professor Louis G. Tassinary to the post.

Also, in response to survey input from faculty and staff as part of the college’s ongoing reinvestment strategies, the dean eliminated three of the previous five associate dean positions—faculty, international and off-campus programs, and continuing education and distance learning—and redistributed their administrative duties.

Tassinary has been a professor on the architecture facutly at Texas A&M since 1990. He holds a B.A. from Eckerd College and Ph.D. from Dartmouth College, both in psychology.

From 1991 to 2000, Tassinary directed the college’s Environmental Psychophysiology Laboratory and in 1993 he was one of only 15 scientists nationwide to receive a five-year National Science Foundation Presidential Faculty Fellowship. He recently wrapped-up a three-year leave of absence to complete his law degree at Boston College. He passed the Massachusetts Bar Exam in the summer of 2003.

Tassinary’s areas of interest include psychophysiology, neuroscience, environmental psychology, the history of psychology and historic preservation law.

As associate dean of research, he is interested in integrating research efforts across disciplinary boundaries.

“Unique challenges are produced by the miscellany of scholarly and creative activity that occurs within our college,” Tassinary said. “The consistency of inquiry that significantly constrains the choice of research infrastructure in most colleges or departments is not characteristic of our college. As associate dean of research, I have the opportunity and responsibility to uncover and support the unnoticed commonalities that buttress our diversity.”

This spring, Tassinary will teach a new course, “Neuroscience and Architecture.” The course is supported by a grant from Texas A&M’s Center for Teaching Excellence and will be co-taught with a faculty member from the department of psychology.

“One organizing principle of the College of Architecture is the influence of research on teaching,” said Regan. “I am confident that all of the college will benefit from the leadership that Dr. Tassinary will bring to the position of associate dean of research.”

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