Academic Vice President Brent W. Webb recently announced the appointment of Susan Sessions Rugh as dean of Undergraduate Education at Brigham Young University.
A professor of history at BYU, Rugh will begin her five-year term as dean on May 1, 2016. She fills a vacancy left by John Bell’s 2015 appointment as a vice president at BYU-Hawaii.
“The university is indebted to Dr. Bell who served as dean of Undergraduate Education since 2008,” said Webb. “We wish him well in his appointment as academic vice president at BYU-Hawaii. We also deeply appreciate Dr. Joe Parry who was appointed associate dean of undergraduate education in 2012, and who has served admirably as interim dean since Dr. Bell’s departure in May 2015.”
Rugh currently serves as an associate dean of Undergraduate Education and is a former associate dean in the BYU College of Family, Home and Social Sciences. “We welcome Dr. Rugh in her role as dean,” said Webb. “She is deeply committed to Brigham Young University and will bring vision and energy to this new assignment.”
Rugh received her Ph.D. in American history from the University of Chicago in 1993. A BYU alum, she began teaching at BYU in 1997 and has since published several books and numerous articles on rural America and the history of travel and tourism. Her article on Utah’s promotion of tourism published in the Western Historical Quarterly won the Michael Malone Award from the Western Historical Association.
Her books investigate the history of families in America, from frontier family farms to post-war family vacations. She is currently researching and writing about the history of family-owned motels. In writing about her book, Are We There Yet? The Golden Age of American Family Vacations, the Wall Street Journal described Rugh as “a steady hand at the wheel,” saying “she takes us on a fascinating journey through America’s recent past.”
Rugh sits on the editorial board of the Utah Historical Quarterly and has served on the editorial boards of the Western Historical Quarterly and the Journal of Mormon History.
Undergraduate Education at BYU oversees several interrelated programs, including First-Year Experience and Mentoring, General Education, the Honors Program and National Scholarships.