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Parsons Announces New Academic Appointments

Parsons The New School for Design announces the appointments of new deans for its School of Art, Media and Technology, and School of Design Strategies.

NEW YORK— Parsons The New School for Design has announced the appointments of new deans for its School of Art, Media and Technology, and School of Design Strategies: two longstanding members of the Parsons academic community, respectively, Anne Gaines and Alison Mears. The school also announced the stepping down of Bill Morrish as dean of the School of Constructed Environments at Parsons, who will rotate into a full-time teaching and research position. David J. Lewis, a longtime Parsons faculty member, and principal of Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis Architects, will serve as interim dean while a search gets underway this academic year.

"Alison and Anne have been a vital part of the Parsons community for a number of years, leading out efforts to increase diversity at the school and also strengthen our civic engagement activities, which are two key areas of focus of our academic mission. David has been integral to our leadership team for the past decade, serving as director of our Master of Architecture program and also our signature design-build program, The Design Workshop," said Joel Towers, executive dean of Parsons. "In his role as dean, Bill significantly raised the profile of the school, developing new, interdisciplinary courses and embarking on groundbreaking design-build projects with New York City Parks & Recreation and the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon. As he returns to the faculty, Bill will be able to further advance Parsons' research agendas on urbanism, sustainability, and social practice."

Anne Gaines is the dean of the School of Art, Media and Technology at Parsons, which houses programs in Communication Design, Design and Technology, Fine Arts, Illustration, and Photography. She previously served as associate dean of Parsons' Summer, Pre-College Academy, and Continuing Education programs. For the past six years, Gaines strengthened the curricula; forged relationships with regional, national, and international partners; and built a strong, diverse community of students, faculty, staff and alumni. She also worked to improve access to college for new and nontraditional student populations through her work with the Parsons Pre-College Academy Scholars program. Gaines received a Master of Fine Arts from Parsons and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Memphis College of Art.

Alison Mears is the dean of the School of Design Strategies at Parsons, which houses programs in Design and Management, Environmental Studies, Urban, Interdisciplinary Design, and Transdisciplinary Design. She previously served as the director of the BFA Interior Design and BFA Architectural Design programs. Mears first joined the school in 2002 as a faculty member, and has served as the director of Parsons' Foundation program and chair of Practice-Led Research. In her work, she has developed a series of innovative collaborative studios involving community engagement in New York, New Orleans, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C. A partner in Stefano Paci + Alison Mears Architects P.C., Mears received a Master of Architecture from Columbia University, a Bachelor of Architecture from University of Canberra, Australia, and a Bachelor of Science from Australian National University, Canberra, Australia.

David J. Lewis is interim dean of the School of Constructed Environments at Parsons, the nation's only integrated school of Architecture, Interior Design, Lighting Design and Product Design, and an associate professor of Architecture. As director of the school's Master of Architecture program from 2002-2007, he led students, faculty and staff through a period of growth, forging new partnerships, and elevating the rigor and profile of its offerings. As director of the Design Workshop from 2006-2010, he led successful, highly ambitious projects that spanned from post-Katrina Mississippi to the Bronx, to a small town in Upstate New York. He most recently worked with colleagues and students on the Parsons entry to the Solar Decathlon. Lewis is a founding principal of Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis, an award-winning architectural firm that is the recipient of a National Design Award from the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, and has also represented the United States in the Venice Architectural Biennale. Parsons The New School for Design is one of the leading institutions for art and design education in the world. Based in New York but active around the world, the school offers undergraduate and graduate programs in the full spectrum of disciplines. To stimulate cross-disciplinary collaboration and learning, Parsons is structured into five schools: the School of Art and Design History and Theory; the School of Art, Media and Technology; the School of Constructed Environments; the School of Design Strategies; and the School of Fashion. Parsons graduates are leaders in their respective fields, with a shared commitment to creatively and critically addressing the complexities of life in the 21st century. For more information, please visit

Source: Parsons The New School for Design

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Formerly Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network, Jennifer Wolfe has worked in the Media & Entertainment industry as a writer and PR professional since 2003.