George Mason University

News at Mason

Deborah Boehm-Davis Named Dean of George Mason University’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences

February 20, 2013

By Tara Laskowski and Rashad Mulla

Deborah Boehm-Davis. Photo courtesy of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Deborah Boehm-Davis. Photo courtesy of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Deborah Boehm-Davis, University Professor in the Department of Psychology at George Mason University, has been appointed dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, effective July 1. Boehm-Davis is currently the associate dean of the college.

“Debbie Boehm-Davis brings new energy and extensive administrative experience to her new position,” says Provost Peter Stearns. “She’s well positioned to maintain the many successful trajectories of the college while also responding to the new opportunities opening up through the Vision for Mason’s future.”

Boehm-Davis holds an AB in psychology from Douglass College, Rutgers University. She holds both an MA and PhD in cognitive psychology from the University of California, Berkeley.

She is the co-author of the book “An Introduction to Humans in Engineered Systems” (Wiley 2012). Throughout her illustrious scholarly career, she has also written or co-written more than 100 refereed articles, and has edited two books. She has given more than 150 presentations at meetings and symposia, both nationally and internationally, in locations as near as New York and as far-flung as Romania, China and Australia. On multiple occasions, Boehm-Davis has testified before Congress.

“With her experience, good judgment and total commitment to the welfare and values of CHSS, Debbie Boehm-Davis will bring new energy and insight to what we are doing,” says Jack Censer, current dean of CHSS.

Boehm-Davis served as president of both the Applied Experimental and Engineering Psychology Division of the American Psychological Association and the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society. She is an associate editor for the journal Human Factors and a member of the editorial board for Theoretical Issues in Ergonomic Science and the Journal of Cognitive Engineering and Decision Making. In addition, she is a fellow of the American Psychological Association, the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, and the International Ergonomics Association.

Her current research focuses on how human performance is helped or hindered by the design of tools that help us accomplish everyday tasks. She has received more than $15.7M in funding from agencies such as the Federal Aviation Administration, Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Office of Naval Research, Army Research Laboratory, NASA and the Federal Highway Administration.

Boehm-Davis has been at Mason since 1984.

“I am honored and excited to have the opportunity to serve as the college’s next leader,” she says. “It’s hard to believe all the changes that have taken place in the more than 25 years since I first stepped foot on this campus — including the formation of our incredibly strong college seven years ago. I can’t wait to start working with the faculty, staff and students in the college to define and take the next steps in our development.”