Doctor of Philosophy
The Johns Hopkins University, Maryland
Master of Science
East Tennessee State University
Bachelor of Science
Mars Hill College, North Carolina
Institute for Educational Management (IEM)
Harvard University Graduate School of Education (MA)
York College of Pennsylvania
Dean of Academic Services (Nine deans report to the President and constitute her cabinet)
Associate Dean of Academic Affairs
Chair, Department of Biological Sciences(Leading over 300 students, 15 faculty members, 2 staff members)
Coordinator, Biology/Secondary Education Program
York College is a private-sector, independent institution that traces its origins to 1787. Offering over 50 baccalaureate majors in the liberal arts and sciences and in professional fields, as well as master’s programs in business, education, and nursing and a doctoral program in nursing, the College enrolls over 4300 undergraduate students and over 200 graduate students from 30 states and 12 foreign countries. Supporting the college’s teaching-centered mission are over 180 full-time faculty members, all of whom serve as academic advisors in their field of study. As dean of Academic Services, I oversee the offices of Academic Advising, Career Development, Professional Excellence, Disability Support Services, Study Abroad and Global Education, and Community Education. I serve as an advocate for over 200 faculty advisors and supervise 20 staff members. In large part, this division serves as a bridge integrating Academic Affairs and Student Affairs initiatives, while also supporting both Advancement and Enrollment Management. As dean, I report to the President and serve as a member of her cabinet. I also report to the Education Committee of the Board of Trustees. At York College, deans are equivalent to vice presidents in other organizations’ structures.
Academic Quality and Curriculum Design
- As associate dean of academic affairs, I initiated and led an assessment plan for our general education curriculum (which had not been assessed in nearly 15 years). The outcome of this process sparked the development of a completely new general education program.
- Through my role on the General Education and Assessment Committee, I helped lead the design and deployment of York College’s new general education program called “Generation Next”. The curriculum is focused on closer coordination of courses, vertical integration of core competencies within each major and systematic, ongoing assessment of student learning outcomes endorsed by the campus community. The curriculum includes a cohesive first-year seminar, foundational courses, disciplinary perspectives and constellation components, as well as co-curricular learning opportunities, many of which are administered through the division of academic services.
- Established and currently oversee the office of Study Abroad and Global Education, which includes both full-semester and course-based global study programs. This office works collaboratively with International Admissions (Enrollment Management) and the office of Intercultural Student Life and Global Programming (Student Affairs), as well as Academic Affairs.
- Served as an active member of the Experiential Education Committee, a subcommittee of Academic Programs, working collaboratively with academic units to define and quantify experiential education opportunities within each major. As dean, I currently oversee all for- credit academic internships, partnering closely with both faculty advisors and on-site supervisors and employers to ensure successful achievement of student learning outcomes and alignment with experiential education standards.
- Coordinated and taught the freshman biology sequence, updating lecture and lab components, ensuring alignment with student learning outcomes of upper level courses and publishing a comprehensive lab manual for the course.
- Independently designed and taught the upper level developmental biology curriculum.
- Developed a cohesive and distinctive curricular sequence in biology dedicated to the development of scientific research skills and culminating in the capstone senior thesis course for all graduates.
- Successfully aligned our biology curriculum with Pennsylvania Department of Education teacher preparation standards.
- Led numerous initiatives to expand and enhance our biology curriculum, including the creation of new upper-division elective options for majors and diverse general education options for non-majors.
- Collaborated with departments such as nursing and physical sciences to clarify and enhance Biology offerings for students in these programs and ensure compliance with their accrediting agency standards.
- Through a close partnership with Wellspan Health (York Hospital), I led the design and development of premedical studies courses for biology majors. These for-credit courses are taught at York Hospital by physicians and residents and include courses in advanced human anatomy, clinical rotations, family practice and emergency medicine.
- At the president’s request and in close partnership with administrative peers and the Academic Senate, I am currently leading the 2016-2021 institutional strategic planning initiative. Thus far, we have successfully reframed our institutional mission and vision and have identified five strategic goals for the future, each with specific and measurable objectives and initiatives. These have been approved by both the Academic Senate and Board of Trustees.
- Successfully led the design and execution three strategic plans at the departmental, divisional and institutional levels. I authored the 2007-2012 strategic plan for Biology, which resulted in the complete renovation of life sciences facilities and creation of a new ecological sciences center. I developed the 2012-2017 divisional strategic plan for academic services, which forecasted the creation of an academic advisor evaluation system, the implementation of advanced technology for career services, and the continued integration of co-curricular and experiential learning initiatives across campus. This plan also articulates the division’s direct role in facilitating the reform of our general education curriculum at York College, as well as developing a structured, integrated First-Year Experience, both of which successfully launched in fall 2015.
Student Success and Retention
- Currently leading a data-driven institutional effort to enhance first-year student success and retention, as well as improve the college’s four-year graduation rate. In two years, first- year student retention has increased nearly 4% and the college is quickly approaching its goal of 80%.
- Built and currently leading the college’s first summer academic enrichment program for at-risk students, Bridge to Results. The Bridge program is designed to support first-year students who have not yet realized their full academic potential. Students participate in an intensive 5-week residential experience focused on academic skills, co-curricular learning, community engagement, and team building.
- Designed, published and distributed the Personal Strategic Plan (PSP), which has transitioned to an on-line instrument called My Plan. This resource is used by both students and advisors in support of comprehensive academic, co-curricular, and career planning and is a distinctive part of the student experience at York College.
- Led the development of a centralized academic advising program for Undeclared students called Explore 360o (Undeclared students comprise 20% of first-year students at York College).
- Developed and currently oversee two academic support programs for at-risk students. Back on Track serves approximately 200 students on academic probation annually and Semester SOS serves over 100 first-year students annually who earn mid-term warning grades. Outcomes for both programs confirm a positive impact on student success and persistence.
- Established a full-time office for Disability Support Services, which includes a director, staff and proctors for a Testing Services Center and a peer mentoring program for students on the autism spectrum.
- Created and led the First-Year Experience (FYE) Task Force charged with the development and coordination of curriculum, campus programs, communications and academic advising efforts that support first-year student success.
- Worked with the dean of academic affairs and department chairs to revise academic policies that promote student retention and success. These included the development of a registration Advisor Hold for all first-year new and new transfer students, clarification of policies regarding academic standing, and new, personalized strategies for student withdrawal.
- As associate dean of academic affairs, oversaw the Center for Teaching and Learning which includes a wide array of tutoring and support services for students, as well as faculty development.
- Played a central role in the design and implementation of the Student Referral Service, an on-line early warning system for faculty and staff to refer at-risk students to a central point of contact such that support services can be immediately mobilized.
- Partnered with student affairs personnel to design, implement and assess specific programs for First-Year Student Orientation.
- As a founding member of the Military and Veterans Advocacy Group, coordinated services for student veterans, supported the development of a student veterans organization, improved on-line resources for student veterans, and aligned with local community colleges to enhance student veteran transfer.
Personnel and Faculty/Staff Development
- Served as the administrative lead of the Academic Advisor Assessment Working group charged with developing the first comprehensive student assessment of academic advisors at York College. This assessment provides valuable input to faculty since teaching and advising are the primary factors in tenure and promotion review. Prior to this review process, there was no mechanism available for faculty to assess their work as academic advisors.
- As associate dean and in partnership with the Faculty Development Committee, I led the organization and expansion of faculty development initiatives on campus and sought to elevate the merit of teaching and advising scholarship. Now part of the college’s Center for Teaching and Learning, I continue to work collaboratively with the center director and committee to support faculty development.
- As chair of biological sciences, I oversaw the hiring of numerous faculty members, both full-time tenure track and adjunct.
- Reviewed all Biology faculty tenure and promotion portfolios, as well as post-tenure reviews and made recommendations to the dean of academic affairs and president.
- Oversaw Biology faculty sabbatical leave applications.
- Administered the faculty professional travel budget.
- Reviewed all annual evaluations of full-time faculty members and all junior tenure track faculty members yearly.
- Served as a member of Academic Council to clarify faculty evaluation, annual review and
tenure/promotion criteria and develop a new non-tenure track Instructor position.
- Served as a new faculty mentor through both AAUP- and department-sponsored
- Designed and delivered numerous faculty development workshops related to first-year
student engagement, student success and persistence, academic advising, and professionalism.
- Served as a member of Promotion and Tenure Committee, evaluating faculty portfolios and applications for tenure and promotion from all academic disciplines.
Budget Development and Fiscal Management
- As dean of academic services, I oversee the division’s budget of approximately $1.25M, which includes all staff salaries, departmental and programmatic budgets, professional travel, equipment and facilities for five distinct offices.
- As associate dean of academic affairs, I oversaw the budgets for the Center for Teaching and Learning and Academic Advising Center totaling approximately $500K.
- Developed and managed the departmental budget for the Biological Sciences department which included resources for supplies, equipment and stipends. I also oversaw the capital budget for a significant facilities renovation project in Life Sciences which included construction of new lecture, lab and research spaces, procurement of new equipment, and the construction of a new ecological sciences building.
- Served as treasurer for the Pennsylvania Academy of Science and oversaw income, expenses and investments of the organization (annual budget totaling $250K). Also oversaw the disbursement of a $42K Pennsylvania state grant to support K-12 science education programs through the Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science.
- Through strategic partnerships with Advancement and Alumni Relations, engaged and expanded the college’s alumni base and helped cultivate the college’s donor pipeline. To date, positive outcomes have yielded scholarship funding for students with disabilities, an endowed lectureship within the Center for Professional Excellence and a naming gift for a new ecological sciences building.
- Procured internal grants to support faculty research.
- Co-Principal Investigator on student research grants funded through the Pennsylvania of Science.
- Currently serving as Acting Dean of Enrollment Management leading the admissions and financial aid teams through the fall 2016 recruitment season. During this leadership transition, I work in close partnership with the entire campus community, as well as consultants and vendors including Ruffalo Noel Levitz and Demand Engine. This position also requires close, consistent interaction with Board of Trustees and Academic Senate.
- Led the enrollment management team (admissions, financial aid, data processing) for a one-year interim period as we built the fall 2014 class. Working in partnership with a national consultant and numerous vendors (Ruffalo Noel Levitz, Royall and Co.), the class surpassed the college’s budget goal and had a modestly higher academic profile than in previous years.
- Chaired the search committee for a newly designed position, dean of enrollment management.
- As department chair, I partnered with the offices of enrollment management and communications to successfully increase undergraduate enrollment in the major by 30% in six years.
Campus Leadership, Collaboration and Co-Curricular Programs
- Founding member of the Center for Professional Excellence (CPE), which is now an office within the academic services division. I oversee the center’s executive director and, together, we ensure strategic integration of CPE programs into the academic culture of the college, with specific emphasis on CPE events for first-year students and emerging student leaders. These programs are intentionally collaborative, leveraging partnerships with advancement, student affairs, academic affairs, and enrollment management.
- Oversee the CPE National Professionalism in the Workplace Poll which assesses the state of professional preparation among new college graduates. Poll results account for 80% of the college’s national media hits and include the Associated Press, National Public Radio, US News, and Forbes.
- Led the establishment and implementation of Student Scholars Week, an annual event designed to showcase and reward undergraduate student research from all academic disciplines.
- Led the design and development of a new emerging student leaders program delivered through the CPE and inclusive of academic, co-curricular, and experiential leadership development opportunities.
- Oversee campus events targeting major exploration (Majors Fair) and career development (Career and Internship Expo) for all students.
Institutional Assessment and Accreditation
- As dean, I oversee outcomes assessment and reporting for the academic services division, which aligns divisional outcomes with institutional goals. A key metric within the division is alumni employment rates, for which my team and I developed two survey instruments based upon guidelines from the National Association for Colleges and Employers (NACE).
- Serve as a member of the “Red Team” in preparation for the 2016 MSCHE accreditation review.
- Co-chaired the Middle States Periodic Review Report (PRR) Committee and oversaw the development and submission of the institutional report, which was selected as a model report by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
- Initiated the process of general education (Area Distribution Requirement) assessment, consistent with Middle States Accreditation standards.
- Oversaw annual review and outcomes reporting within the biology department, which focused on successful achievement of departmental goals and student learning outcomes.
- In collaboration with respective program coordinators, I oversaw program accreditation for Respiratory Care, Nuclear Medicine Technology, and Biology/Secondary Education.
- Successfully led two Pennsylvania Department of Education program accreditation reviews representing Biology/Secondary Education.
- Currently serve on the Administrative Team and Community Advisory Board of the York College Community Opportunity Scholarship Program (YCCOSP), which is dedicated to providing inner-city minority youth with academic opportunities and enrichment activities on campus.
- Member of the Dallastown Area School District Career and Workforce Education and Development Advisory Board. This partnership has enabled the college to leverage its resources in support of college and career preparation in high school, as well as bring talented high school juniors and seniors to our campus for high impact programs targeting leadership and ethical decision making.
- Expanded the biology department’s community outreach by participating in local and regional science fair judging and creating close partnerships with area high school science programs.
- Serve as a member of the General Education Advisory Board for York Technical Institute.
Academic Teaching Experience
Professor of Biological Science
Associate Professor (tenured with promotion in 2000)
National Association for Colleges and Employers (NACE)
2015, member and webinar presenter, “Professionalism Essentials for Students”
National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience
2013, Conference Proposal Review Committee
York Technical Institute
2011-present, General Education Advisory Board
Pennsylvania Academy of Science (PAS)
2010-2012, Chair, Finance Committee
2007-2010, President (two consecutive terms)
2000-2007, Treasurer/Treasurer Elect
Pennsylvania Department of Education
Member of the Pennsylvania Department of Education Review Team for teacher certification program accreditation (Biology) at:
2006, Widener University, West Chester, Pa.
2005, Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pa.
2002, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pa.
Ad hoc Manuscript/Textbook/Grant Reviewer for:
Urology (published by the American Urological Association)
Andrology (published by the American Society of Andrology)
Pennsylvania Academy of Science Undergraduate Research Grants
Progressive Publishing Alternatives (Emigsville, PA)
McGraw Hill Publishing Company
Honors, Awards, Grants and Training
- 2013, nominated as one of the Central Penn Business Journal’s “Women of Influence”
- 2012, in partnership with the Advancement Office, received a financial award from a private
donor to support testing services for students with disabilities ($8000)
- 2012, through the Center for Professional Excellence Advisory Board, helped secure a donation to support an annual named lecture series targeting student leadership and professionalism ($25,000)
- 2011, Professional Service and Leadership Award, York College Alumni Association 2009 York College President’s Guide, featured article on the “Personal Strategic Plan”
- 2007, Research Grant, awarded by the Faculty Development Committee, York College of Pennsylvania ($1000)
- 2002, featured radio personality for the “What have you learned today?” campaign promoting York College of Pennsylvania
- 2000, Grant to Support Undergraduate Research, awarded by the Pennsylvania Academy of Science (two awards, totaling $1000)
- 1999, Outstanding Academic Advisor Award nominee, York College of Pennsylvania
- 1998, Grant to Support Undergraduate Research, awarded by the Pennsylvania Academy of
Science (two awards, totaling $1000)
- 1998, Research and Publications Grant, awarded by the Research and Publications Committee, York College of Pennsylvania ($800)
- 1997, Research and Publications Grant, awarded by the Research and Publications Committee, York College of Pennsylvania ($800)
- 1996, Summer Stipend Research Grant, awarded by the Faculty Enhancement Committee, York College of Pennsylvania ($2800)
- 1994, Student Merit Award Recipient, The American Society of Andrology
- 1993, Male Reproduction/Urology Research Grand Prize Paper, Co-Author, The American Fertility Society
- 1993, Student Merit Award Recipient, The American Society of Andrology
- 1989-95, Recipient of NIH Training Grant, The Division of Reproductive Biology, Dept. of Population Dynamics, The Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health
- 1989, second Place Award Winner, Fifth Annual Research Forum, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, Tennessee
- 1989, finalist in Student Abstract Competition, The International Embryo Transfer Society, San Diego, California
Volunteer Work and Community Service
- 2012 – present, Women’s Business Center Organization, member and co-chair of the WBCO Mentor Program
- 2012 – present, Dallastown Area School District Career and Workforce Education and Development Advisory Board, member
- 2012 – present, Habitat for Humanity (York College chapter), volunteer
- 2011 – present, Strand Capital Performing Arts Center, member
- 2011 – present, General Education Advisory Board, York Technical Institute
- 2002 – present, Mid-Atlantic English Springer Spaniel Rescue (MAESSR)
- 1995 – present, Judge, Dallastown Area Science Fair, Dallastown, PA
- 1995 – present, Judge, York County Science and Engineering Fair, York, PA
- 2011 – 2015, Dallastown Area High School Volleyball Booster Club
- 2003 – 2008,Centers of Excellence in Science; York Country Day School
Ricker DD. The advisor advisee relationship: Exploring the need for an academic advising syllabus. College Planning and Management. July 2012:12.
Kempinas WD, Suarez JD, Roberts NL, Strader LF, Ferrell J, Goldman JM, Perreault SD, Evenson DP, Ricker DD, Klinefelter GR. Fertility of rat epididymal sperm after chemically and surgically induced sympathectomy. Biol Reprod. 1998 Oct;59(4):897-904.
Ricker DD. The autonomic innervation of the epididymis: its effects on epididymal function and fertility. J Androl. 1998 Jan-Feb;19(1):1-4. Review.
Ricker DD, Crone JK, Chamness SL, Klinefelter GR, Chang TSK. Partial sympathetic denervation of the rat epididymis permits fertilization but inhibits embryo development. J Androl. 1997 Mar-Apr;18(2):131-8.
Ricker DD, Chang TSK. Neuronal input from the inferior mesenteric ganglion (IMG) affects sperm transport within the rat cauda epididymis. Int J Androl. 1996 Dec;19(6):371-6.
Ricker DD, Chamness SL, Hinton BT, Chang TSK. Changes in luminal fluid protein composition in the rat cauda epididymidis following partial sympathetic denervation. J Androl. 1996 Mar-Apr;17(2):117-26.
Chamness SL, Ricker DD, Crone JK, Dembeck CL, Maguire MP, Burnett AL, Chang TSK. The effect of androgen on nitric oxide synthase in the male reproductive tract of the rat. Fertil Steril. 1995 May;63(5):1101-7.
Burnett AL, Maguire MP, Chamness SL, Ricker DD, Takeda M, Lepor H, Chang TSK. Characterization and localization of nitric oxide synthase in the human prostate. Urology. 1995 Mar;45(3):435-9.
Burnett AL, Ricker DD, Chamness SL, Maguire MP, Crone JK, Bredt DS, Snyder SH, Chang TSK. Localization of nitric oxide synthase in the reproductive organs of the male rat. Biol Reprod. 1995 Jan;52(1):1-7.
O’Hara BF, Donovan DM, Lindberg I, Brannock MT, Ricker DD, Moffatt CA, Klaunberg BA, Schindler C, Chang TSK, Nelson R. Proenkephalin transgenic mice: a short promoter confers high testis expression and reduced fertility.Mol Reprod Dev. 1994 Jul;38(3):275-84.
Minhas BS, Roudebush WE, Ricker DD, Dodson MG. Treatment of sperm with high-ionic strength medium increases microsurgical fertilization rates of rabbit oocytes fertilized by subzonal placement of sperm. J In Vitro Fert Embryo Transf. 1991 Apr;8(2):111-5.
Minhas BS, Kumar R, Ricker DD, Robertson JL, Dodson MG. The presence of platelet- activating factor-like activity in human spermatozoa. Fertil Steril. 1991 Feb;55(2):372-6.
Roudebush WE, Minhas BS, Ricker DD, Palmer TV, Dodson MG. Platelet activating factor enhances in vitro fertilization of rabbit oocytes. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1990 Nov;163 (5 Pt 1):1670-3.
Minhas BS, Kumar R, Ricker DD, Roudebush WE, Dodson, MG, Fortunato SJ. Effects of platelet activating factor on mouse oocyte fertilization in vitro.
Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1989 Dec;161(6 Pt 1):1714-7.
Ricker DD, Minhas BS, Kumar R, Robertson JL, Dodson MG. The effects of platelet-activating factor on the motility of human spermatozoa. Fertil Steril. 1989 Oct;52(4):655-8.
Published Abstracts & Presentations (restricted to those coauthored with York College undergraduate students & faculty):
Harrison Z, Thompson JT and Ricker DD. Identification of an oviduct-specific ubiquitin conjugating enzyme in the female mouse (Mus musculus). Annual Meeting of the Pennsylvania Academy of Science, Vol. 84: Suppl. and index issue. 2010.
Ricker DD and Thompson JT. Molecular lab activities for the undergraduate developmental biology curriculum: Examining the expression of spicule matrix protein 30 (SM30) in Lytechinus variegatus using Cells-To-cDNA® RT-PCR. Annual Meeting of the Society for Developmental Biology, San Francisco, CA, 2005.
Ricker DD and Thompson JT. Molecular lab activities for undergraduate developmental biology courses: Examining the expression of TIE-2 protein and mRNA during zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryo development using ELISA and RT-PCR. Annual Meeting of the Society for Developmental Biology, San Francisco, CA, 2005.
Beck JL, Ricker DD. The use of constructivism as an effective teaching strategy in secondary education biology classrooms. Annual Meeting of the Pennsylvania Academy of Science, Vol. 74: Suppl. and index issue. 2001.
Collins SL, Ricker DD. Presence of Wolbachia wolbachi in grasshopper gonads. Annual Meeting of the Pennsylvania Academy of Science, Vol. 73: Suppl. and index issue. 2000.
Cunningham CL, Ricker DD. Risk assessment of Lyme Disease in York County Parks. Annual Meeting of the Pennsylvania Academy of Science, Vol. 73: Suppl. and index issue, 2000.
Ricker DD. When good labs go wrong: How to recover from failed laboratory exercises. Annual Meeting of the Society for Developmental Biology, 58th Annual Meeting, 1999.
West CL, Ricker DD. An evaluation of DNA methyltransferase mRNA during mouse (Mus musculus) preimplantation embryo development using reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Annual Meeting of the Pennsylvania Academy of Science, Vol. 72: Suppl. and index issue, 1999.
Baynes TA, Ricker DD. Combined effects of iron contamination and UV-B radiation on Xenopus laevis embryo survival. Annual Meeting of the Pennsylvania Academy of Science, Vol. 72: Suppl. and index issue. 1999.
Swartz M, Ricker DD. The status of cauda epididymal sperm DNA following partial sympathetic denervation. Annual Meeting of the Pennsylvania Academy of Science, Vol. 70: Suppl. and index issue. 1997.
Bortman O, Ricker DD. Nitric oxide synthase is directly correlated with cell death in the rat lateral prostate. Annual Meeting of the Pennsylvania Academy of Science, Vol. 70: Suppl. and index issue. 1997.