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Three New Deans Announced at BYU

Brigham Young University Academic Vice President C. Shane Reese announced the appointment of three new deans today, including Richard D. Osguthorpe at the David O. McKay School of Education, Laura Padilla-Walker at the College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences and Adam T. Woolley as the dean of Graduate Studies.

David O. McKay School of Education

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Richard Osguthorpe was named the dean of the David O. McKay School of Education.

Osguthorpe has been a professor in the Department of Teacher Education and the Center for the Improvement of Teacher Education and Schooling (CITES) at BYU since 2019. He will begin his tenure as dean on July 1.

“Rich’s leadership traits of thoughtful perspective on the moral foundations of education and a desire to help colleagues succeed will be a blessing to the McKay School,” Reese said.

Osguthorpe will be replacing Mary Anne Prater who will be retiring this year. She has been serving as the college’s dean since 2013.

“Her diligent efforts during her time at the university are an example of a dedicated servant leader," Reese said. "I am sure her influence on the lives of many will be felt for years to come.”

Osguthorpe received a bachelor’s degree from BYU and both a master’s and doctoral degree from the University of Michigan in educational foundations and policy. His scholarly research has focused on the moral work of teaching and teacher education.

Prior to teaching at BYU, he was a professor, department chair and dean of the College of Education at Boise State University. While there, he received the Administrator of the Year award from the Association of Office Professionals for both the university and the state of Idaho.

College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences

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Laura Padilla-Walker will serve as the next dean of the College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences.

Padilla-Walker currently serves as a professor in the School of Family Life and an associate dean in the College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences at BYU. She will start as dean on July 1.

“She has shown by her own example she is committed to the teaching and scholarly mission of BYU," Reese said. "I’m sure her perceptive kindness will be a blessing to all those with whom she interacts.”

Ben Ogles has been serving as the dean of the College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences since 2011. He will return to full-time teaching and research within the BYU Department of Psychology.

“Ben Ogles’ forward-thinking and selfless leadership has in numerous ways benefitted not only those in the College of Family, Home and Social Sciences but in real and measurable ways, the entire university,” Reese said.

Padilla-Walker received a master’s and doctoral degree in developmental psychology from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and joined the BYU faculty in 2005.

Her scholarship focuses primarily on how parents socialize adolescents’ positive behaviors, with special emphasis on parent-child communication about healthy sexuality and prosocial media. She also studies the development of prosocial behavior during adolescence.

Graduate Studies

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Adam Woolley, a professor in the chemistry and biochemistry department, will be the next dean of Graduate Studies.

Woolley, who will begin his term as the dean of Graduate Studies on May 15, is a professor in BYU’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

“The vast experience that Adam Woolley brings to his new role as dean will be invaluable," Reese said. "I am impressed with his commitment to graduate students and his thoughtful vision of the role of Graduate Studies within the university.”

Woolley will take over from Logan Gillette, who has been serving as the interim dean since July 2020 following the appointment of the previous dean, John “Keoni” S.K. Kauwe, as the president of BYU–Hawaii.

“We thank Logan Gillette for his willingness to step in and provide excellent leadership," Reese said. "His exemplary service to the university is appreciated.”

As a student, Woolley earned a bachelor’s degree from BYU and a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley. After postdoctoral work at Harvard University, he began teaching chemistry and biochemistry at BYU in 2000.

Woolley’s scholarship is directed at the interface between miniaturization and biomolecules. He develops microfluidic devices for chemical analysis with an emphasis on biomedically relevant assays, and he is utilizing biomolecules to self-assemble nanoscale electronic systems.

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