Dr. Sara Fletcher Harding Appointed New Dean Of Arts & Sciences At Florida Southern College

Oct 6, 2021

by FSC Staff

Florida Southern College (FSC) has appointed Dr. Sara Fletcher Harding as the new Dean of the School of Arts & Sciences, FSC’s largest school. Dean Harding served as interim dean for the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 academic years, and she holds faculty rank as a tenured Professor of Religion.

“Dr. Harding is an exemplary leader inside and outside the classroom, as evidenced by her numerous teaching awards and accolades from her fellow faculty and students,” said Dr. Anne B. Kerr, President of Florida Southern College. “As a renowned interdisciplinary scholar of the sciences and religion, Dr. Harding blends the perspectives of the humanities and the sciences in her teaching and research. As dean, she draws Florida Southern’s arts and sciences faculty and students together by fostering an academic environment that encourages engaged, interdisciplinary learning.”

Dr. Harding joined the faculty of Florida Southern College in 1997. She earned her B.A. in Psychology from Nebraska Wesleyan University, her M.A. in Religion from Iliff School of Theology, and her Ph.D. in Religious Studies with a concentration in New Testament from Marquette University. Dr. Harding has received numerous accolades that highlight her engaging pedagogy and classroom presence, including the Omicron Delta Kappa Teacher of the Year Award (2010), the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the UMC Exemplary Teaching Award (2010), the Miller Distinguished Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching (2015), and the Ben and Janice Wade Outstanding Teaching Award (2019).

“It is an honor and a joy to be appointed as Dean of the School of Arts & Sciences and to serve its students and faculty in this capacity,” said Dr. Harding. “As an administrator with deep roots at FSC, I have an unwavering commitment to faculty excellence, engaged learning, and interdisciplinary student experiences that facilitate possibility and growth.”

Dr. Harding’s role as an interdisciplinary scholar who promotes dialogue between the humanities and the sciences is demonstrated by her work as a co-editor of Religion and Science: Critical Concepts in Religious Studies, which resulted from her collaborations with Dr. Nancy M. Morvillo, chair of FSC’s Biology Department. Furthermore, on behalf of the College and her colleagues, Dr. Harding received a competitive 2011 International Society for Science and Religion Library Award. In 2012, she participated in the Jessie Ball duPont Seminar, which was sponsored by the National Humanities Center to encourage interdisciplinary connections in college-level teaching. 

“Dr. Harding took on the role of interim dean just months before the global pandemic impacted life in the United States and interrupted campus operations,” said Florida Southern College Provost Dr. Brad Hollingshead. “Dr. Harding has provided solid leadership through the disruptions of the pandemic, and I am so happy to have her in the role of dean on a more permanent basis. I am confident that her leadership will continue to advance faculty and student engagement in the School of Arts & Sciences.”

Florida Southern College’s School of Arts & Sciences prepares students for the international marketplace and for studies in post-baccalaureate and professional programs through a contemporary liberal arts and sciences curriculum emphasizing interdisciplinary learning, research, service, and performance. The School of Arts & Sciences excels across many fields, including STEM and the arts and humanities, as well as the social and behavioral sciences. It also provides highly successful pre-professional programs that land students in top medical, veterinary, and law schools across the country.