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May 3 , 2010

Brescia appoints Dr. John Mitchell as Academic Dean

Student making presentation

London, ON – An international search revealed that the best candidate for the position of Academic Dean at Brescia University College has been at Canada’s premier women’s university for seven years, earning the respect and admiration of scholars and students alike. Dr. John Mitchell, Chair of Psychology in Brescia’s Division of Social Sciences, will assume the three-year renewable term on July 1, 2010.

In the announcement made to the Brescia community on Friday, Dr. Colleen Hanycz, Principal, commented on the deep pool of qualified applicants from which the search committee had to draw, and explained that Mitchell’s institutional knowledge and contributions took him to the top. “Dr. Mitchell has been a highly valued member of the Brescia community for several years. He is an inspired teacher, a committed scholar, a supportive colleague, and a gifted administrator. I am delighted that he has agreed to enrich his experiences with this appointment and I look forward to Brescia benefiting from his creative, strategic, and collegial approach.”

Mitchell carefully considered the opportunities and challenges before applying for the role. He enjoys being an associate professor and department chair, but said he feels invigorated by the challenges that come with the strides and changes Brescia is making. “I applied for the position of Academic Dean because I care about Brescia and because I love working here. The position of Academic Dean will allow me to make a contribution to Brescia different from the one I was able to make as a member of the teaching faculty or as department chair. There are challenges, but if there are no challenges then we’re coasting; we aren’t trying hard enough,” he said.

After completing his B.A. and M.A. in Psychology at Queen’s University, Mitchell earned his Ph.D. from the Centre for Studies in Behavioural Neurobiology in Concordia University’s Department of Psychology. Including his graduate work, he has worked in six universities as Postdoctoral Fellow, Research Fellow, Assistant Professor, and Associate Professor. Since arriving at Brescia in 2003, Mitchell has maintained a place on the Dean’s Honour List for Teaching and won the Brescia University College Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2007. He is a reviewer for several psychology journals, contributor to and author of academic textbooks, and author of many published research reports. His many contributions to academic service include sitting on various search committees, acting as chair of the Brescia Research Ethics Board, working on the United Way campaign, and helping to revise the Professional Development Fund Guidelines.

Mitchell is excited about the ways he can choose to lead Brescia’s academic programs into the future, while remaining firmly grounded on the principles and values that have made the College a compassionate and student-centred environment for 90 years. “I think the greatest challenge is for us to continue to grow and develop to meet the needs of our millennial students, but without forgetting who we are and where we are from. We have a unique history that has shaped our mission and defines what we are as a community. A decade into the 21st century we need to continue to grow, change, and develop, but we also need to keep our mission in mind. This is an exciting time for Brescia as we continue to progress. We must also remember what and who we are; it is important for us to remember our history as we embrace our future.”


Brescia University College, Canada’s premier women’s university college, is affiliated with The University of Western Ontario. The 1,100 women registered as either full or part-time students at Brescia study a wide variety of subjects in Arts, Social Sciences, and Foods & Nutrition in an empowering, compassionate, student-centred, and invigorating environment. Degrees are granted by Western. The Catholic College welcomes students from all backgrounds and values diversity. For more current and archived news, a listing of faculty experts, and photos please visit our Online Media Room at

For more information, please contact:

Dr. John Mitchell
Associate Professor of Psychology
Phone: 519.432.8353, ext.