Academic Affairs Leadership


Norman MuirNorman Muir, Ph.D.

Associate Professor and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Dr. Norman Muir ( joined Medaille College in June 2004 as the undergraduate academic dean. Since receiving his Ph.D. in literature from SUNY Stony Brook in 1984, he has served as a full-time faculty member or academic administrator at three other small, private, independent colleges. His scholarly interests remain in the areas of sixteenth and seventeenth century British literature, with an emphasis on Elizabethan and Jacobean comedy. He continues to research and write about the influence of the theological doctrine of Christian Patience on Renaissance and seventeenth century literature through John Milton.
Dr. Muir has taught a variety of college writing and literature courses, ranging from developmental English to technical writing and from introduction to literature classes to a senior seminar in the novels of William Faulkner. While at Centenary College in New Jersey, he received the Lindback Foundation Award for Teaching Excellence after being nominated by his students. He has also had the good fortune of traveling to China twice in recent years to teach for short periods of time at five Chinese universities.
As an academic administrator, his primary interests are in academic program development, experiential learning, strategic planning, improving teaching and learning, and the assessment of student learning and institutional effectiveness.
His family includes his wife of thirty years, Donna, and his adopted daughter, Alexa Grace Fuyan Ting Muir, born in Changting County of Fujian Province in southeastern China. Alexa is in the fourth grade and already smarter than her father! Also living in the family residence are his mother, Joyce, and a gracefully aging parakeet of 13 years, Oliver.
He is a lifelong New York Yankee fan with a passion for baseball. When not watching a Yankee game on television or playing with Alexa, he can be found indulging his interest in Italian Renaissance art and literature.


 Sonja Brown Givens, Ph.D.

Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs
Dr. Sonja Brown Givens ( joined Medaille in July 2014. Since earning her Ph.D. in Interpersonal Communication and Media Studies from the University of Georgia in 2001, she has served as a faculty member and administrator at two publicly funded state universities. Her scholarly interests include representations of women of color in media, marginalization and feminist praxis among women of color and multicultural approaches to organizational leadership in higher education. Her ongoing research agenda explores how women of color make sense of their “place” in organizational environments, and how they sometimes articulate resistance to place-making.
Dr. Brown Givens has served as chair of the Black Caucus of the National Communication Association, Public Member on the Council on Chiropractic Education and Editorial Board Member for the journal Media Psychology. She is also the recipient of various research and service awards, including the Vanguard Award from the University of Alabama in Huntsville for becoming the first African American woman appointed to the role of department chair at the university.

I'm grateful for the education I've received.

The instructors were knowledgeable and welcomed class discussions, with
respect for each student's contribution. I've learned how to be a more
effective leader. My capstone class gave insight on how to combine all
the education learned to operate a business. That's when I realized how
much I had sharpened my knowledge.

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