Professor of Sociology Mary J. Osirim Named Interim Provost

Posted May 29th, 2013 at 3:02 pm.

The below email was sent by Bryn Mawr Provost Kim Cassidy on May 29.

I’m writing to let you know that Bryn Mawr College Professor of Sociology Mary J. Osirim has agreed to serve as the College’s Interim Provost beginning July 1 for a two-year term.

Mary brings a wealth of administrative experience and a passion for Bryn Mawr to the Provost position. She’s very much involved with the development of many of the College’s current curricular initiatives and brings particular expertise in the area of internationalization. Mary is a wonderful colleague—fair, open, thoughtful, collaborative, and creative—and I look forward to working with her as we all move Bryn Mawr forward together.

Mary was named the College’s Dean of Graduate Studies in March 2011. In addition to chairing the Sociology Department, she has previously served as a co-director of the College’s Center for International Studies and its Center for Ethnicities, Communities, and Social Policy (now the Center for Social Sciences), and as director of its Africana Studies Program. She also served as Faculty Diversity Liaison at the College and a member of the Diversity Leadership Group.

During the past 20 years, Mary has conducted fieldwork on women, entrepreneurship, and the roles of the state and non-governmental organizations in the microenterprise sectors of Nigeria and Zimbabwe in which Bryn Mawr students participated as research assistants. She is the author of Enterprising Women in Urban Zimbabwe: Gender, Microbusiness and Globalization and the co-editor of Global Philadelphia: Immigrant Communities, Old and New, among numerous other publications.

Mary and I will fill the Dean of Graduate Studies position vacancy created by this appointment on an interim basis for AY 2013-2014 and we will begin the process of naming the new, permanent Dean in the late fall/early spring. We will be particularly mindful to create a smooth transition to new leadership for the graduate programs and their students.

Finally, I want to end by thanking the many faculty members who took the time to make nominations and/or share thoughtful comments on the provost’s office structure. I am especially grateful to Tom Vartanian, Imke Meyer and Sharon Burgmayer for their work in receiving and sharing the interim provost nominations. This was a busy time of year to pile on extra work and I am so grateful to all for the help and support.

Best wishes,


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