Brian Cusato transitioned to a new role as special assistant to the president and associate vice president for academic affairs after completing service as interim vice president for academic affairs and dean of the College, a role he assumed on July 1, 2018. Having served the two previous years as Centre’s associate dean of the College, he was a logical fit for these greater responsibilities.
An earlier administrative role involved serving as director of the Brown Fellows Program, one of Centre’s three premier scholarship offerings, which offers 10 full-ride-plus scholarships annually to students who have achieved at the highest level academically and are likely to be role model scholars at Centre.
“Brian was a natural selection for this appointment,” said Centre President John Roush, “given the breadth of his experience both in the classroom and at the senior administrative level, not to mention his deep institutional knowledge.”
As special assistant to the president, Cusato’s primary responsibilities will be to serve as the College’s chief planning and institutional research officer, as well as continue his role as a key member of the senior administration. He will also staff the Planning Committee of the Centre College Board of Trustees.
In addition, he will focus a portion of his attention to matters related to creativity and innovation in the academic program area in his role as associate vice president of academic affairs.
“I am both thrilled and honored for the opportunity to continue working with President Roush and my senior colleagues,” Cusato said. “And I look forward as well to supporting Dean Goldey on the important work of the College. This is an exciting time at Centre, and it’s a privilege to be a part of it and serve the College.”
Cusato came to Centre in 2006 as a member of the psychology and behavioral neuroscience faculty and was promoted to associate professor in 2009, followed by promotion to full professor in 2018.
His work in the classroom was recognized with two prestigious campus faculty awards over the years. He was named a Centre Scholar in 2009, which recognizes excellence in teaching, scholarship and contributions to the College community. Four years later, in 2013, he received the Kirk Teaching Award, which has been awarded annually since 1996 to honor excellence in the classroom.
A graduate of Muhlenberg College, Cusato completed his graduate work at Bucknell University and the University of Texas at Austin, where he earned his M.A. and Ph.D., respectively.
His interest in the behavioral mechanisms of learning in animals focuses on adaptive specializations in learning and the integration of biological, comparative and evolutionary approaches to studying learned behavior.