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APSU leader, alumna named new associate provost, dean of graduate studies

An Austin Peay State University administrator and alumna – with extensive experience in higher education leadership and evidence in scholarship – has been promoted to oversee two programs.

Dr. Dixie Dennis is the new associate provost of Grants and Sponsored Programs and dean of the College of Graduate Studies. She most recently held dual interim director positions, of Grants and Sponsored Research and of the Title III Grant Project.
An Austin Peay State University administrator and alumna — with extensive experience in higher education leadership and evidence in scholarship — has been promoted to oversee two programs.

Dr. Dixie Dennis is the new associate provost of Grants and Sponsored Programs and dean of the College of Graduate Studies. She most recently held dual interim director positions, of Grants and Sponsored Research and of the Title III Grant Project.

“I am happy to serve the University in a position for which all of my professional experiences have paved the way,” she said. “Austin Peay is housed with dedicated faculty and staff who want to help students in academic and personal endeavors, and I am glad to be a part of this important work.”

In 2009, Dennis was associate dean of the APSU College of Professional Programs and Social Sciences, which is now defunct. She also was interim dean of the College of Science and Mathematics from 2007-08.

An alumna, Dennis earned both her B.S. in chemistry (1989) and M.S. in public and community health (1996) from APSU. In 2000, she received a Ph.D. in health education, with a perfect 4.0 GPA, from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. She also was designated a certified health education specialist (CHES) in 1997.

Dennis returned to APSU in 2005 as professor and chair of the APSU Department of Health and Human Performance. Within her first two years, she made many noteworthy contributions to scholarship — most notably named the recipient of the Richard M. Hawkins Award, having been nominated by several of her colleagues.

Currently, she serves on the board of directors of the American Association for Health Education and is the contributing editor for the American Journal of Education “Teaching Ideas” column. She is the immediate past chair of the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing Inc. Board of Commissioners.

Dennis has written two books and contributed to two others. She co-authored “Living, Dying, Grieving,” which was published in 2009 by Jones and Bartlett. The book was used in Spring 2009 at APSU for a course with the same title. In 2003 her book, “Adult Children of Alcoholics: Consequences and ChoicesA Lab Manual,” was published by Salisbury University. In 2006, Dennis contributed to the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Society for Public Health Education and American Association for Health Education publication, titled “A Competency-Based Framework for Health Education.”

Currently, Dennis is writing a chapter, titled “Life Lessons on the Road Toward Myself,” in “Alternate Paths to University Positions,” edited by P. Mosley. She previously wrote a chapter, “Biological Basis of Spirituality,” which is included in “Searching for Spirituality in Higher Education,” edited by former APSU President Sherry Hoppe and former Provost Bruce Speck.
In addition to pursuing book publication, Dennis has authored 23 peer-reviewed articles and currently has two co-authored scholarly articles in progress. And since 1998, she has delivered scholarly and professional presentations at national conferences and conventions. -- Melony Shemberger