Undergraduate deans encourage students to challenge themselves and take advantage of everything UM has to offer

Dean Leonidas G. Bachas – College of Arts and Sciences

Leonidas G. Bachas joined the University of Miami in July 2010 as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and professor in the department of chemistry. Dean Bachas is a distinguished analytical and biological chemist who was formerly the Frank J. Derbyshire Professor of Chemistry at the University of Kentucky. A passionate believer in the power of a liberal arts education and a tireless supporter of students, Bachas drives the university’s commitment to prepare the next generation of leaders to be engaged, global citizens, and creative and critical thinkers who can succeed in a dynamic job market and help solve the world’s most challenging problems.

As Dean of the largest and most dynamic college on the Coral Gables campus—with nearly 440 faculty and 4,500 students—Bachas has been successful in creating innovative programs, recruiting world-class faculty talent and providing opportunities for students to engage in research and civic engagement.

Bachas earned his Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the University of Athens, Greece. He graduated from the University of Michigan with master’s degrees in chemistry and oceanic sciences and a doctorate in chemistry. His research interests include the use of nanoscience in addressing biological and environmental issues.

Bachas, who has three adult children, loves to play soccer and visit with UM alumni in his spare time.

His advice to all students is to be open to all of the opportunities the university has to offer.

“The college has excellent professors and a variety of great courses that provide students ample opportunity to learn, discover and grow their passions.”

Dean Cindy Munro – School of Nursing and Health Studies

Cindy L. Munro became dean of the University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies on August 15, 2017. Munro came to UM from the University of South Florida College of Nursing, where she was associate dean of research and innovation from 2011 through August of 2017. After earning a bachelor’s degree in nursing, Munro graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a master’s in nursing and a doctorate in microbiology and immunology.

Munro, who is a certified adult nurse practitioner, came to UM after serving as the Associate Dean for Research at the University of South Florida College of Nursing. She previously taught at Virginia Commonwealth University as an endowed professor of the university’s nursing school. Munro’s research, which focuses on reducing complications in intensive care unit patient treatment, has been funded by the National Institutes of Health since 2001. She is currently the Co-Editor-in Chief of the American Journal of Critical Care and a member of the National Institutes of Health National Advisory Council for Nursing Research.

Munro says she is driven by the desire to support people through all of their most significant, difficult and life-altering milestones.

“I have always been motivated by the incredible opportunity that nursing provides to work directly with people and make a difference for the better in their lives. From birth through death, nurses are the primary force for improving health and outcomes for patients, families and communities.”

Munro, who is happily married, was born in upstate New York and grew up in central Pennsylvania, just north of Baltimore. Munro’s position as dean is not her only connection to UM, as her son graduated with dual majors from the Rosenstiel School of Atmospheric and Marine Science and the College of Arts and Sciences in 2013.

Munro advises new students to balance their passions with their academics and to pursue the things that challenge them most.

“I love the motto, ‘If it’s terrifying and amazing, you should definitely do it!’ Keep both your mind and your heart fully engaged in the amazing journey ahead of you.”

Dean Roni Avissar – Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science

Roni Avissar has been dean of UM’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science since June 2009. He was recruited from Duke University, where he was department chair and W.H. Gardner Professor in the department of civil and environmental engineering. Earlier in his career, he served as chair of the department of environmental sciences and distinguished professor at Rutgers University.

Avissar is a fellow of both the American Meteorological Society and the American Geophysical Union. He was the recipient of the prestigious American Geophysical Union Robert E. Horton Award in 1998 for his outstanding contributions in interdisciplinary hydrologic research. For the past 30 years, Avissar’s research has focused on climate and weather processes. He is currently focusing his studies on hurricane observation, recently developing an innovative helicopter observation platform and a hurricane prediction system with a state-of-the-art numerical model that he developed with his research team.

Avissar is married with two children and graduated from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem with a doctorate in meteorology and soil sciences. In addition to his academic career, Avissar is a helicopter and airplane pilot and a certified flight instructor. He has an airline transport pilot license and currently instructs mostly aerobatic flight.

Avissar’s advises new students to engross themselves in all of the research opportunities UM has to offer.

“The advantage of studying at a private research university is to be able to learn from world-class professors conducting cutting-edge research. There is no better way to study and to integrate knowledge that is learned in the classroom than by doing research. I encourage all our students to get involved in our research.”