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Dr. James Stellar, Former Dean at Northeastern University, Appointed New Provost
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Phyllis Cohen Stevens
Deputy Director of News Services

(718) 997-559

Maria Matteo
News Assistant
(718) 997-5593


--Neuropsychologist James Stellar, Former Dean of Northeastern University’s College of Arts and Sciences,
to Replace Retiring Provost Evangelos Gizis --

FLUSHING, NY, April 7, 2009--Queens College President James Muyskens has announced the appointment of Dr. James Stellar as the college’s new provost and vice president for academic affairs after a national search. Dr. Stellar, a neuropsychologist and the former dean of Northeastern University’s College of Arts and Sciences, has taught at Harvard where he received the Phi Beta Kappa Outstanding Harvard Teacher of the Year Award. He will assume his new position in August, replacing Dr. Evangelos Gizis, who is retiring after a career at Queens College that spans 18 years.

provost James Stellar

“Dr. Stellar is a dynamic and effective leader who has had a profound impact on Northeastern University,” says President Muyskens. “He brings to Queens College a wealth of experience and ideas that will help us continue our momentum and achieve the goals of our strategic plan.”

As the college’s chief academic officer, Dr. Stellar will oversee long-term academic policy development, program planning and review, curriculum, faculty recruitment, research, and budgeting. He will lead the Office of Academic Affairs, which includes the college’s four divisions:  Arts and Humanities; Education; Mathematics and the Natural Sciences; and the Social Sciences. 

“I am very pleased to be joining the Queens College community,” says Dr. Stellar.  “I am impressed by the quality, mission, and trajectory of the college and by the people whom I have met in the process of interviewing. I am honored and humbled by this opportunity.”

As Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Northeastern University from 1998 to 2008, Dr. Stellar created a team-based, entrepreneurial organization that has achieved a reputation for academic excellence.  During these 10 years, the college doubled its academic programs and tripled the number of freshman applications.    

Dr. Stellar was instrumental in expanding the university’s experience-based educational programs as supplements to traditional classroom learning. He also helped establish the Martha’s Vineyard Summer Institute on Cape Cod, which in the last four years has trained 39 colleges and universities in developing their own experiential programs.  The institute is now part of the successful World Association of Cooperative Education.

Dr. Stellar earned a BS in Biology from Ursinus College in Pennsylvania and his PhD and post-doctorate in biological psychology from the University of Pennsylvania.  He began his academic career as an assistant professor and later associate professor in Harvard’s department of psychology and social relations. He also worked as a research affiliate in biochemistry at the McLean Hospital of Harvard Medical School. 

A teacher and researcher for three decades, Dr. Stellar helped students become enthusiastic and active learners, using laptop and web-based technology, including chat rooms, to prepare them for exams. His research and teaching in behavioral neuroscience has focused on the effect of addictive drugs on the motivational control circuits of the brain.  Many of the students who served as undergraduate assistants in his laboratory were accepted to the country’s top medical and graduate schools. 

A native of Acton, Massachusetts, he is married to Teresa and is the father of two daughters, Jennifer, 25, a PhD student in social psychology at Berkeley, and Devrie, 17.





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Deputy Director of News Services
(Position vacant)

(718) 997- 5597

Maria Matteo
Assistant Director of News Services
Queens Hall, Room 270B
(718) 997-5593

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