Dr. Mary Ann Gawelek took office as Lourdes University’s tenth president on July 1, 2016. Her advocacy and belief in a liberal arts education integrated into professional studies serves Lourdes University well. In addition, her expertise in working with traditional undergraduate and working adult students is guiding our institution to even greater heights while reaching a broader number of students.

A native of Maple Heights, a suburb of Cleveland Ohio, she received her B.A. in Psychology and Sociology from the Franciscan University of Steubenville; and her M.Ed. and Ed.D. in Counseling Psychology from Boston University.  Early faculty appointments include serving as a graduate faculty member and academic administrator at Boston University and Lesley University.

Prior to coming to Lourdes, Dr. Gawelek served as chief academic officer at Seton Hill University for 20 years. While at Seton Hill, Dr. Gawelek held the rank of Professor in Psychology and served first as Vice President for Academic Affairs and then Provost and Dean of the faculty.

Dr. Gawelek’s accomplishments in her academic and administrative roles include:

  • Leading the successful licensure efforts for mental health counselors in Massachusetts;
  • Providing Counseling Psychology programs in 17 states;
  • Integrating Catholic social teaching principles into the liberal arts and major areas of study across the four years of undergraduate study;
  • Implementing nine graduate programs including a post-doctoral, freestanding orthodontics program and six new undergraduate programs;
  • Leading three successful strategic planning processes;
  • Leading a 2:1 mobile technology program that achieved designation as an Apple Distinguished program for four years running;
  • Securing Title III funding twice as well as Department of Defense funding for science programs and state and foundation dollars for construction of academic buildings and the development of new programs;
  • Facilitating a best practice town-gown relationship with the City of Greensburg as recognized in The Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program report; and
  • Developing a partnership between the Blackburn Center Against Domestic and Sexual Violence and Seton Hill University to end gender-violence which is noted as a case study in “audacious leadership” by the FISA Foundation.

Dr. Gawelek’s scholarship focuses on gender equity, diversity and enhancing the learning experience through the integration of mobile technology.

She and her husband Frank, a retired corrections and human services professional, love being part of an academic community and are delighted to be back living in their native Ohio.  They enjoy spending time with their children Terra and Ryan and grandsons Riley and Jacob.

Dr. Gawelek has traveled extensively, most recently to Italy.  She is a life-long, daily swimmer, an activity that she attributes to feeding her creative thinking. In addition, she loves spending time with the family’s golden retriever Cody Quinn and reading a good mystery novel.