- Announcing Our Newest Deans in Academic Affairs
Simon’s Rock has announced the appointment of several new deans to help guide the
future of academic affairs and student support services at the institution.
Dr. Kristy McMorris has been named the new Dean of Studies and Brendan Mathews has
been selected as the new Dean of Faculty & Curricular Development. Additionally, Dr.
John Morrell has been named the new Associate Dean for Bard Academy and First Year
Students, and Dr. Ken Knox has become the new Associate Dean of Studies for the Sophomore
Year and the Upper College.
“We are pleased to announce the appointments of Kristy, Brendan, John, and Ken to
these four new roles. Each of them are impressive scholars and key members of the
Simon’s Rock community who bring a wealth of experience in supporting the many aspects
of our academic programs, our students, and our faculty,” noted Provost and Vice President
John B. Weinstein. “Moreover, the addition of these new roles will bolster our unique
academic program with a focus on supporting and guiding both faculty and students
at every stage of their Simon’s Rock journey.”
In her new role, Dr. Kristy McMorris will provide leadership and administrative oversight of students’ academic experience
at both Bard Academy and Bard College at Simon’s Rock. Most recently the Dean of Bard
Academy, Kristy has been an early college educator for nearly a decade, and began
her work as a member of the faculty in Literature at Bard High School Early College
in Queens, New York. She was the founding director of the Bard Early College at Harlem
Children's Zone Promise Academy and was Bard Fellow at Bard College at Simon's Rock
from 2016 to 2018. Kristy is also an associate for the Bard Institute for Writing
and Thinking. She holds a PhD and an MA from New York University and a BA from Howard
Brendan Mathews will oversee the development and staffing of the academic programs for Bard Academy
and Bard College at Simon’s Rock. Brendan is a faculty member in creative writing
and literature at Bard College at Simon’s Rock. He was a 2014 Fulbright U.S. Scholar
in Ireland, where he was Fulbright Visiting Professor at University College Cork.
He is the author of The World of Tomorrow and This Is Not a Love Song, both published by Little, Brown & Co, and his stories have twice appeared in Best American Short Stories. Brendan holds a BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MFA
from the University of Virginia.
As the new Associate Dean for Bard Academy and First Year Students, Dr. John Morrell
will play a vital role on the academic leadership team at Simon’s Rock. He will offer
direct insight and support to academic advising, student success, and academic processes,
with a focus on overseeing new students’ transition to Simon’s Rock within the Academy
and the College during Orientation and throughout their first years at the institution.
He will also continue to teach literature at Simon’s Rock. Prior to joining Simon’s
Rock in 2018, John was the head of the English Department at Loomis Chaffee School
and a lecturer in the Department of English at Vanderbilt University. He has a BA
from Hamilton College and an MA and PhD from Vanderbilt University.
Similarly, in his new role as Associate Dean of Studies for the Sophomore Year and
the Upper College, Dr. Ken Knox will be a critical member of the Simon’s Rock leadership team, providing direct academic
guidance, support, and planning for students’ transition from the Lower College into
the Upper College. Ken will continue to teach mathematics at Simon’s Rock, a position
he has held since 2016. Prior to Simon’s Rock, he held a Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow
position at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He holds a BS/BA from the University
of Georgia and a PhD from Stony Brook University.