Columbia’s School of Continuing Education.

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School of Continuing Education gets new dean

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Kristine A. Billmyer, a scholar of sociolinguistics, has been named dean of Columbia’s School of Continuing Education. She comes to Columbia from the University of Pennsylvania, where she has served as executive director of the College of Liberal and Professional Studies and associate dean of the School of Arts and Sciences since 2005. She’ll start her new job on November 1.

Billmyer has published widely on how culture influences the way people learn and use a second language. Previously, she served as executive director of Penn’s English Language Programs. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and Spanish literature from Vassar College, a master’s of education from Temple University, and a PhD in educational linguistics from Penn.

Columbia’s School of Continuing Education, which was created in 2002, offers postbaccalaureate study in more than 50 subject areas, 11 professional master’s degrees, 10 levels of ESL instruction, programs for high school students, and Arts and Sciences courses through the school’s auditing and lifelong learning programs. The school has been led since 2006 by interim dean Peter J. Awn, who also is dean of the School of General Studies.

“I look forward to building on the School of Continuing Education’s strong foundation,” says Billmyer, “and creating innovative, academically rigorous programs that align the intellectual strengths of Columbia’s faculties with the demands of a knowledge-based economy, emerging professions, and new audiences.”

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