Saint Martin's appoints new engineering dean

August 23, 2010

Lacey, Washington — Saint Martin’s University announced today that Zella Kahn-Jetter, Ph.D. will be the new dean of the School of Engineering. Dr. Kahn-Jetter has over twenty years of experience in Catholic higher education. She currently serves as the chairperson of the Mechanical Engineering Department at Manhattan College, a private Catholic college in New York following the Lasallian tradition founded by the Christian Brothers. Dr. Kahn-Jetter will be the third new dean joining the University this academic year; Dr. Eric Apfelstadt became dean of the College of Arts and Sciences in July and Dr. Richard Beer joined as the new dean of the School of Business in August. Dr. Kahn-Jetter will assume her deanship in January 2011. The present dean, Dr. Anthony De Sam Lazaro, will be retiring this fall after leading the School through its review by ABET, the national agency that accredits engineering programs.

“Our national search drew many impressive applicants from all around the country for the position, and we are extremely pleased and honored that Dr. Kahn-Jetter has accepted our invitation to take a leadership role in this pivotal position,” says Saint Martin’s Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Joseph Bessie, Ph.D. “Dr. Kahn-Jetter has the intelligence, energy, and enthusiasm to inspire and lead us as we enter a new era in the School’s history. ”

At Manhattan College, Dr. Kahn-Jetter was involved in student advisement, curriculum development, budget preparation and management, faculty and course scheduling, student affairs, hiring of adjuncts, overseeing full-time and tenure-track faculty appointments, and accreditation. She was very focused on recruitment and retention issues, especially in creating a more diverse student population.

“I am thrilled to be joining Saint Martin's University,” says Dr. Kahn-Jetter. “This is a great period in the School's history and I am excited and eager to be able to be a part of this.”

Dr. Kahn-Jetter holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from The Cooper Union, a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from MIT, and a Ph.D. from Polytechnic University in Brooklyn, New York. She is a registered professional engineer, and a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the National Society of Professional Engineers, Pi Tau Sigma, and the Society of Women Engineers.

Saint Martin’s University is an independent four-year, Catholic, coeducational university located on a 380-acre wooded campus in Lacey, Washington. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 18 Benedictine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares students for successful lives through its 22 majors and six graduate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education, and engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes 1,250 students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its main campus, and 650 more to its extension campuses located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Everett College, Centralia College, and Tacoma Community College.

Genevieve Canceko Chan
Vice President, Marketing and Communications
Saint Martin’s University