Meet The Candidates: Developmental Neurobiologist Bashar W. Hanna

Rachel Wright, News Editor

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     “As a young man who at the age of ten didn’t speak a word of English to be a candidate for the presidency of this wonderful institution is beyond my wildest dreams,” said Bashar W. Hanna, one of the four presidential candidates for Bloomsburg University.
He started out the open forum with a little background about himself.

     “My family immigrated to the US from Syria when I was ten years old I arrived in fifth grade,” Said Hanna. “Fifth grade is still the reoccurring nightmare because I was the stupid foreigner who didn’t know how to order his milk or ask to go to the bathroom.”
Hanna has a Ph.D. in Developmental Neurobiology from Temple University. In his professional career some of his positions held have been Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Dean of Faculty at Delaware Valley University, Associate Provost at Ithaca College and Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Kutztown.

     “I have never stopped teaching…I have stayed in the classroom. Every fall semester I teach a freshman level, non-majors biology course,” he said. “That course allows me to have firsthand experience of what our students are arriving to college with. It allows me to recognize the support, identify the needs that they have and work with my faculty colleges to make sure we are providing our support and not compromising our students.”

 

 

     Hanna believes that it is important to continue teaching because, “the moment you step away from the classroom no matter what your title is, you’ve lost critical connections with the most important constituents on campus.”

     If given the position, Hanna has plans on immersing himself in the campus and Bloomsburg culture. “The way for me to learn about the campus if I am blessed to be here is to get to know the campus. [I will] go to the dining hall and eat lunch with the students, go to the faculty meetings and meet the faculty and go to staff meetings and meet the staff. That’s essentially what I think I would do if I was your president the first six months of my time here,” he said. “Hopefully as time goes by you will see something who is engaged with you and that the team is engaged with you to make sure we are moving this university forward.”

     Hanna’s personal philosophy is “When leaders inspire, engage, listen and learn is when the institution they have the privilege of serving moves forward.” This is something he emphasized on bringing to campus.
He said, “My promise to you is to be an engaged listener and a colleague.”