New Deans of Computing, Nursing Appointed


Provost Fatma Mili said the two people selected to lead the College of Computing and Kirkhof College of Nursing come with impressive credentials and track records for transformative change.

Marouane Kessentini and Linda Lewandowski were announced as deans of computing and nursing, respectively. They both begin working at Grand Valley in early July.

Mili said both Kessentini and Lewandowski expressed their enthusiasm about what Grand Valley has accomplished and its exciting trajectory.

“Both deans cited the culture of collegiality, care, positive outlook and commitment to the ambitious mission of GVSU as a determining factor in their interest in this position,“ Mili said. “I am looking forward to what they will accomplish with their GVSU colleagues and the community at large.”

Marouane Kessentini in dark jacket, white shirt and blue tie standing outside in alleyway between brick walls

Marouane Kessentini begins his role as dean of the new College of Computing in July.

Marouane Kessentini begins his role as dean of the new College of Computing in July.

Marouane Kessentini

Kessentini serves the University of Michigan-Flint as the Winegarden professor and associate dean for Research and Graduate Studies at the College of Innovation and Technology. He also serves as director of the National Science Foundation Industry-University Cooperative Research Center on Pervasive AI in Michigan, the director of the National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates site on Digital Accessibility and as an executive board member of the Rackham Graduate School and MCity at the University of Michigan.

Kessentini’s appointment comes after Grand Valley’s Board of Trustees approved a plan to elevate and expand the current School of Computing during a meeting in November. The as-yet-unnamed College of Computing will help GVSU reach its goal of delivering three times as many graduates in high-tech fields over the next 10 years. 

“With the growth of computing, artificial intelligence,
data science and cybersecurity and beyond, it’s very inspiring to see the commitment of the university to create a new college that hopefully would become a bridge for every single field at GVSU to democratize computing.” 

Kessentini received bachelor’s and master’s degrees with distinction in computer science from the University of Tunis in 2006 and 2008. In 2012, he received a doctoral degree in computer science from the University of Montreal.

Linda Lewandowski in blue jacket rests an arm on a rail outside the DCIH building, Corewell Health West Hospital behind her on Michigan Avenue

Linda Lewandowski 

Lewandowski is a professor of nursing and former dean of the College of Nursing at the University of Toledo. She also served as the University of Toledo’s vice provost for Health Affairs and executive director for University Health Services. 

”Grand Valley is a university on the move,“ Lewandowski said. ”It’s forward-thinking, innovative, has ambitious leadership and a focus on diversity, equity and inclusion. I have enjoyed the people I have met. It’s apparent the faculty, staff and administrators are very caring and united in the cause of being student-centered.”

An accomplished and widely published researcher, Lewandowski’s scholarship focuses on toxic stress, violence and cumulative trauma associated with the social determinants of health. She co-developed the Cumulative Trauma Scale, a 32-item scale designed to assess and treat the psychological and physiological symptoms caused by trauma. The scale has since been translated into six languages for use worldwide.

Lewandowski is a first-generation college student who earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Michigan. She then earned a master’s degree in pediatric critical care nursing from the University of California, San Francisco; master’s degree and doctorate in clinical psychology from University of Massachusetts at Amherst; and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in psychology at Yale University.


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