Dr. Maria Vaz has been one of Lawrence Tech’s most versatile leaders, having served as associate provost, dean of graduate programs, interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and interim dean of the College of Engineering.
While serving as interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, she shepherded the development of several new programs, including the Master of Educational Technology, Bachelor of Science in media communications, and Bachelor of Science in chemical biology. The chemical biology program is an affiliated program with Lawrence Tech’s Bachelor of Science in biomedical engineering started at the same time. These programs launched Lawrence Tech in the bio- and life-sciences fields that Vaz strongly advocates as being key to Michigan’s new economy.
Vaz joined the Lawrence Tech faculty in 1983 after completing her doctorate in physics at Kent State University. In 1992 she was named chair of the Department of Natural Sciences and in 1994 became associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. In 1998 she was appointed associate provost and dean of graduate programs.
Vaz also led Lawrence Tech’s preparation team for the North Central Association’s accreditation review effort in 2001 and was an early advocate and leader of the University’s efforts to enhance the teaching of science in primary, middle, and high schools. Her efforts led to the formal establishment of Lawrence Tech’s Master of Science Education degree in 1997.
As dean of graduate programs, she led development of the University first doctorate program in 2001. Since that time Lawrence Tech has added two additional doctoral programs and awarded its first doctoral degrees in May, 2006.
Vaz has also been the lead administrator overseeing Lawrence Tech’s partnership with Ferndale Public Schools to launch and develop programs for the innovative University High School.
She and her husband, Nuno, who also holds a doctorate in physics, have three children.