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Welcoming the DFOM’s incoming associate deans!

Dr. Laura Loewen and Dr. James Maiello have been named associate deans for the Desautels Faculty of Music

September 2, 2020 — 

This fall, students will notice some new faces on the faculty, and also some familiar faces in new roles!

With the recent retirement of beloved Associate Dean and longtime music theory professor Charles Horton, two new associate deans have been named to oversee crucial elements of the faculty, effective July 1, 2020. We are delighted that faculty members with such varied expertise and commitment to student achievement and experience have been appointed to these important roles.

Please help us welcome Dr. Laura Loewen and Dr. James Maiello to their new positions!


Laura Loewen, DMA, Associate Dean, Undergraduate Programs

Dr. Laura Loewen, Associate Professor of Music in Collaborative Piano, has been named the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs, where she will oversee all facets of undergraduate programs in the DFOM, including academic, audition, policy, and administration of programs, as well as oversight of health and wellness initiatives, among others.

“I am really excited about my new role – it is an amazing time to have the ability to work for the faculty and for students’ needs,” she says.

“There are so many changes right now that require completely new ways of thinking and that offer enormous possibilities. Some of the problems feel insurmountable at first, but you just keep working little by little, and all of a sudden a new, exciting idea appears that is not only possible, but creates new possibilities for our students and faculty,” she adds.

While this year looks different than previous years, Loewen has been impressed by the cohesion that faculty and administrators have demonstrated in the age of COVID-19.

“The university as a whole is facing a completely new reality, and I have been really inspired to see how everyone I have spoken to is working together, each to solve one piece of the puzzle,” she says.


“People have been extraordinarily helpful and creative, and everyone that I call is willing to think in new ways to create solutions to problems we couldn’t even have imagined 6 months ago. I am so proud to work at this university with these people,” says Loewen.

Loewen, who has pushed for and implements health and wellness initiatives in the faculty to further support student growth, is particularly excited to expand on the work she has been doing in those areas.

“It’s really important to me to be able to work on Health and Wellness initiatives for our Faculty. These initiatives will be one of the core things that I do as Associate Dean, and will require new creativity for the upcoming year,” she says.

Loewen will also be overseeing the expansion of the DFOM’s mentorship program, and helping to implement a committee for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion within the faculty this year.

“I am really excited about the conversations and new directions that will grow from that work,” she says.


James Maiello, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Graduate Programs and Research

Meanwhile, Dr. James Maiello, associate professor of musicology, has been named Associate Dean for Graduate Programs and Research, where he will oversee all elements of DFOM graduate programs, and help to organize, provide education for, and expand grant opportunities within the DFOM.

“Creating a dedicated associate dean for graduate programs and research will allow us to serve better the needs of our growing graduate programs and to facilitate research and creative works in the DFOM,” Maiello says.

“Building on a long tradition of excellence, the Faculty has, in the last several years, aligned more closely with the robust graduate programs and vibrant research profile of larger U15 institutions,” he says.

“We attract graduate students from all over the world and our faculty are engaged in innovative research and creative works projects. For us to reach even higher, I think it’s necessary to have focused, proactive support for these areas, and I’m excited about providing that,” he says of the work he will be doing.


“In particular, I’m looking forward to developing the research side of this portfolio. Our faculty are engaged in amazing scholarly and creative work, and I hope this position will make it easier for them to do that work,” he adds.

“During my service as Graduate Chair from 2017 through 2020, it became clear that our graduate programs were growing in enrolment, scope, and quality, and that we needed to devote more administrative attention to ensure that this growth was responsible and organized,” he says of finding ways to best support graduate students.

“I’m very much looking forward to serving as a dedicated support for students as they plan and navigate their degree programs and prepare for a variety of careers. I’m also excited about continuing to develop clear, systematic policies and procedures that can grow with our graduate programs and let them operate as smoothly and consistently as possible,” he adds.

Congratulations to Drs. Loewen and Maiello! We can’t wait to see all the positive ways in which you help to lead and guide the Desautels Faculty of Music!

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