The University of Scranton Announces New Deans

Members News

Rev. Joseph Marina, S.J., president of The University of Scranton, announced Victoria Castellanos, Ph.D., will serve as dean of the Panuska College of Professional Studies (PCPS), effective immediately and Mark Higgins, Ph.D., will serve as the Dean of the Kania School of Management beginning July 1.

Dean Castellanos has served as the interim dean of PCPS since January 2022. She served as the associate dean of PCPS since 2012, when she joined The University of Scranton community.

“Her professionalism, dedication and leadership, in addition to her caring insightfulness, have greatly benefited the University and PCPS, and I look forward to continuing to work with her as dean,” said Father Marina in an announcement to the University community.

At Scranton, Dean Castellanos oversaw the PCPS undergraduate and graduate curriculum review process, the T.A.P.E.S.T.R.Y. professional development program and other PCPS projects and programs. She was also the college shepherd for the construction of Edward R. Leahy Jr. Hall. She has served on numerous committees at the University, including the Provost’s Committee on Academic Policy Compliance, the Strategic Enrollment Committee and the Faculty Handbook Committee, among many others. 

Prior to her work at Scranton, Dean Castellanos served in a number of positions at Florida International University (FIU) from 1996 to 2012, including as the associate dean of the University Graduate School, the Ph.D. program director and the undergraduate didactic program director for the Department of Dietetics and Nutrition. She was also an associate professor of dietetics and nutrition at FIU.

Dean Castellanos has published dozens of articles about her research in the area of dietetics and has contributed several academic book chapters, in addition to presenting on her research at numerous conferences. During her career, she was awarded multiple U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services grants totally more than $850,000.

Dean Castellanos’ board memberships include Individual Abilities in Motion, The Arc of North Eastern Pennsylvania and The Arc of NEPA Foundation. Her professional memberships include the Dietitian’s Council on Quality Nursing Home Care, the American Society for Nutrition and the American Dietetic Association.

Dean Castellanos earned her bachelor’s degree from Montana State University and her master’s degree and Ph.D. in nutrition from the University of California. She completed a National Institutes of Health postdoctoral fellowship at Pennsylvania State University.

“I know from my conversations with him, along with the endorsements of his peers, that Dr. Higgins is deeply committed to our Catholic and Jesuit mission. We are fortunate as well to have someone of his exceptional experience and expertise,” said Father Marina in an announcement to the University community.

Dr. Higgins currently serves as a professor of accounting at St. Louis University (SLU), a sister Jesuit university in Missouri.

From 2015 to 2019, Dr. Higgins served as the Edward Jones Dean and Professor of Accounting at SLU’s Richard A. Chaifetz School of Business. During his tenure at SLU, he has worked with deans and faculty to repurpose facilities into a multipurpose data analytics lab for finance and a behavioral lab space for marketing; and has worked with faculty to revise SLU’s one-year, full-time MBA program to focus on data analytics and ethical leadership. He also helped to revise faculty support models at SLU to encourage publication in top-tier business journals, among other accomplishments. 

Dr. Higgins has extensive experience with AACBS accreditation, widely considered the gold-standard of business school accreditations. The University of Scranton’s Kania School of Management holds AACBS accreditation. In 2016, he chaired SLU’s successful re-affirmation of AACSB accreditation for the undergraduate and graduate business programs and worked with the department chair and the accounting faculty to achieve initial accreditation for undergraduate and graduate accounting programs. He currently serves as chair of the AACSB Accounting Accreditation Policy Committee and is a member of the AACSB Business Accreditation Policy Committee. His professional memberships include the American Accounting Association, the American Taxation Association and the Missouri State Society of CPA’s. He received the American Accounting Association Service Award in 2015 and the American Taxation Association Lifetime Service Award in 2009.

Dr. Higgins earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of South Carolina and his Ph.D. in accounting from the University of Tennessee.