Skip to Content (Press Enter)

Jessica Stern Appointed Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Share This:

Following the conclusion of a national search, history professor and author Jessica Yirush Stern has been appointed dean of Cal State Fullerton’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences, effective June 1.

“Working with the department chairs this semester has been an inspiring experience, and I am eager to continue to make progress in key areas we have identified, including promoting the value of humanities and social sciences degrees and supporting faculty and staff,” said Stern,  who has served as interim dean since January.

Stern joined Cal State Fullerton in 2007 and has served as chair of the Department of History and associate dean for student relations.

Her goals for the college include bolstering opportunities to enhance student success and developing community partnerships.

“By aligning with the university’s new strategic plan, over the next five years, I will strive to make the college vital to the campus and local community, both intellectually and economically. The dean’s office will be a tailwind behind our existing and emerging programs that engage the community and students,” she said.

“I want our students to see the myriad career paths that await them by fully supporting programs like Passage to the Future, Cal State DC Scholars and department-based, high-impact practices.”

Stern has led the Passage to the Future program, which helps future humanists and social scientists imagine and prepare for an array of careers.

During her tenure in the college, she spearheaded curricular, retention, graduation and post-graduation initiatives, including the interdisciplinary general education model “Explore Core” and the retention program “Leap Into Sophomore Year.” 

She also supports strengthening the college’s tandem advising model in which each department has at least one staff adviser who works alongside faculty advisers to guide students on their academic pathway.

The adoption of the tandem advising model grew out of a project Stern created by being part of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities’ Emerging Leaders Program. She worked with faculty and staff advisers to analyze college advising.

Stern serves on the California State University Student Success Network Advisory Board and directs various projects, including the CSU Hispanic-Serving Institution Community Grant, the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship program, and the Latinx Lab for Storytelling and Social Justice, supported by the Mellon Foundation. 

A historian of early America, Stern’s historical research examines how Native American groups and British settlers understood and reconciled their cultural differences and similarities during the colonial period. She is the author of “The Lives in Objects: Native American and British American Cultures of Production, Exchange and Consumption in the Southeast, 1660-1763” (University of North Carolina Press, 2017).

Stern earned a doctorate and master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University and a bachelor’s degree from Reed College, all in history.