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New Honors College dean takes the reins

By Angela Peluso
On February 6, 2013


Lakeesha Ransom started work Feb. 4 as the new dean of the University of Toledo Honors College.

She was one of two finalists, narrowed down from a 40-person applicant pool. She replaced Tom Barden after he retired from his post as dean, though he continues to teach this semester.

“I’m excited for the upcoming changes,” she said.

Ransom said she is excited to help meet the needs of students and use technology to enhance learning, like connecting digitally to classrooms around the world. She said this particular initiative is part of the Main Campus’s five-year plan.

“This program is an opportunity to place UT as the face of experiential learning, and will help reintroduce the Honors College and the University of Toledo so people outside the state and country know about us based on what we are creating,” Ransom said.

The college will be renamed the Jesup Scott Honors College.

The offices will be moved to a renovated MacKinnon Hall and single rooms will be added for honors student housing.

Ransom also said she would like to take a group of honors students to this year’s Nobel Peace Prize Forum held in Minneapolis in March.

Linda Smith, associate dean of the Honors College, said she thinks Ransom was chosen for the job because “she is a great communicator, has taught internationally, and has broad experience in the academic as well as the business world.”

“She is a great listener, is student and people oriented and has a knack for finding out what is best for students,” Smith said.

Ransom said working in Toledo will let her spend more time with her parents.

“It is the first time in a long time I’ve been able to live in the same state, let alone the same country as them,” she said.

Ransom has a bachelor’s degree in international business from Southwest Minnesota State University and L’Université des Sciences Sociales in Toulouse, France; a master’s degree in comparative and international development education from the University of Minnesota; and a doctorate in human resource development and strategic management from the University of Minnesota.

She was a research associate at the University of Minnesota from 1997 to 2006 and served on the Minnesota Board of Regents from 2001 to 2007. She was a senior manager for Best Buy Corp in Richfield, Minn., from 2006 to 2009 and served as principal of Mariposa Global, a consulting company, starting in 2000. Most recently she was a visiting professor at Assumption University of Thailand, teaching entrepreneurship and customer relationship courses in Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.

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