Dr. Nicole Westrick Named New Dean of Morgan State University’s College of Interdisciplinary and Continuing Studies
BALTIMORE — Morgan State University President David K. Wilson announced today the appointment of Nicole M. Westrick, Ph.D., as assistant vice president and dean of the College of Interdisciplinary and Continuing Studies (CICS), Morgan’s newest academic unit, designed to meet the particular needs of nontraditional students, returning students, working adults and adult learners. Dr. Westrick will assume her role as the inaugural dean of CICS effective July 1.
Westrick joins Morgan from Temple University, where she served as associate vice provost of University College. Her hiring follows a national search led by Hongtao Yu, Ph.D., Morgan’s provost and senior vice president of Academic Affairs, and an internal committee comprising a diverse representation of Morgan faculty and administrators.
“Our College of Interdisciplinary and Continuing Studies was established to serve a necessary purpose, to create a viable pathway for tens of thousands to complete the journey to degree fulfillment, and with the hiring of Dr. Nicole Westrick, we have a proven continuing education executive to lead the way,” said David K. Wilson, president of Morgan State University. “We welcome Dr. Westrick to the Morgan family and look forward to her contribution to the elevation of CICS as a foremost destination for adult learners nationwide seeking degree completion.”
Westrick comes to Morgan with extensive experience and proficiency in the continuing education space and a specific focus on the adult learner and nontraditional student. As associate vice provost of University College at Temple University, Westrick led the fall 2021 launch of the college’s Bachelor of General Studies (BGS) program, which was created specifically for adult students who have some college but no degree (SCND). The BGS program graduated its first students in May 2022.
“Dr. Westrick has accumulated all the experiences and leadership skills needed to hold the position of dean of CICS,” said Provost Yu. “We expect her to lead our newly created college with its 18 degree programs to national prominence, as we transform SCND adult learners into proud Morgan degree holders.”
Throughout Westrick’s tenure at Temple, she has been intimately involved in or led strategic initiatives, including the implementation of a university-wide non-credit registration system and the creation of partnerships to develop student-centered workforce programs. In addition, she has forged several novel programs, ranging from a vocational certificate in urban greening and sustainable land care for the Philadelphia Department of Prisons, to the launch of professional development and workforce programs such as the Business of Architecture non-credit certificate; constable and sheriff continuing education programs for the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD); and non-credit leadership courses developed and designed for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA).
In 2019, Westrick was recognized with the Alexander Charters Emerging Continuing Educator award from the Mid-Atlantic University Professional Continuing Education Association (UPCEA), for her continuing educational leadership.
“I am delighted to join CICS. I look forward to working collaboratively with the team to provide access to affordable, high-quality degree programs to nontraditional students,” said Dr. Westrick. “As a first-generation college student, my journey parallels a path that is all too familiar to many Morgan students who are ‘first-generation’ as well. Understanding the complexity of being an adult learner and staying the course is personal for me, as I have navigated career and family while completing graduate coursework.”
“Morgan State University’s educational excellence and its commitment to degree completion and finding pathways for nontraditional students demonstrate a model for all higher education institutions, a model that I am very pleased to be part of,” added Dr. Westrick.
Before taking her position at Temple University, Westrick worked at Johns Hopkins University (JHU) as the business solutions manager on the Student and Administrative Systems team. In this role, Westrick honed keen analytical skills, identifying patterns in the future of work and training, including the importance of digital literacy, as she worked with units across the university to develop solutions to systems and technology issues. Westrick increased her knowledge of the learner environment as a training development consultant for a variety of organizations, including General Electric Power Systems, American Electric and Power Companies, the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company (A&P), Warner Brothers Consumer Licensing Products, and Los Angeles Unified School District.
Returning to Baltimore, Westrick aims to reconnect with the community and reestablish active ties previously forged during her tenure at JHU. Her various activities in support of the community have included serving on nonprofit boards such as the Patterson Park Neighborhood Association, the Friends of Patterson Park and the Junior League of Baltimore.
Westrick earned her Ph.D. in Media and Communication from the Klein College of Media and Communication at Temple University, a Master of Public Management from Carnegie Mellon University and a B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh.
Founded in fall 2021, the College of Interdisciplinary and Continuing Studies became the first new academic unit established at Morgan since 2013. Designed to meet the unique needs of nontraditional, adult learners — particularly college “stopouts” and SCND noncompleters, representing nearly 39 million people in the U.S. and more than 570,000 in Maryland — CICS brings together cross-disciplinary pairings of programs from existing academic schools at Morgan under a highly flexible curriculum and course sequence that aligns with a student’s accumulated course and/or work experience. The School offers 18 interdisciplinary degree programs (eight undergraduate majors, five master’s and five doctoral degree tracks), forming the foundation of the University’s progressive Morgan Completes You initiative. Adult learners pursuing degree fulfillment have the flexibility to draw from their professional experiences, previous course credit and 18 curated interdisciplinary programs designed for today’s competitive job market.
Farzad Moazzami, D.Eng., served as the interim dean for CICS, establishing the College and leading its rollout during its first eight months of operation. During the University’s 2022 Spring Commencement Exercises, CICS celebrated an historic first, as Lucy Moran, who was awarded a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Journalism and Mass Communication, became the college’s first-ever graduate.
Morgan State University, founded in 1867, is a Carnegie-classified high research (R2) institution offering more than 140 academic programs leading to degrees from the baccalaureate to the doctorate. As Maryland’s Preeminent Public Urban Research University, and the only university to have its entire campus designated as a National Treasure by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Morgan serves a multiethnic and multiracial student body and seeks to ensure that the doors of higher education are opened as wide as possible to as many as possible. For more information about Morgan State University, visit www.morgan.edu.
# # #