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Coastal Carolina University announces new associate dean

June 13, 2008

Coastal Carolina University has announced a new associate dean in the College of Natural and Applied Sciences.

Biology professor James O. Luken will be taking over as associate dean of the science college, effective July 1. He will be replacing Deborah Vrooman, who is retiring.

Luken's duties as associate dean will include acting as the graduate coordinator for the college and developing new programs for the college.

"I am pleased that Dr. Luken was willing to step up and take on this important task," said Michael Roberts, dean of the College of Natural and Applied Sciences. "He has a broad range of experiences and skills that will serve the college and university well. As we seek to grow and add to our programs, it will be important to have an individual as qualified as Dr. Luken providing leadership in the College of Natural and Applied Sciences."

Luken joined the Coastal Carolina University faculty in 2001. Prior to that, he was director of the environmental science program at Northern Kentucky University, where he was named Outstanding Professor. He is the co-author, with biology professor Richard Moore, of the book "101 Wild Things Along the Grand Strand."

Luken served as chair of Coastal Carolina University's Department of Biology for four years and has written numerous articles on invasive species, rare plants, wetlands and environmental management. He earned a bachelor's degree in zoology from Southern Illinois University, a master's degree in biology from Western Washington University and a Ph.D. in botany from Duke University.