Deboleena Roy/Courtesy of Emory Photo and Video

Professor and Chair of the Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) Deboleena Roy will serve as the next senior associate dean of faculty at the Emory College of Arts and Sciences, according to Director of Emory Communications Beverly Cox Clark. Roy will replace outgoing Senior Associate Dean of Faculty Carla Freeman in August 2020.

“It’s very exciting, and it’s been an interesting week,” Roy said. “I’ve just been really surprised, but my heart’s been warmed by the response of my peers. … I never really saw myself going this direction of higher administration, but Emory has really been a fantastic place for me.”

Roy’s appointment was initiated via a nomination process spearheaded by the office of College Dean Michael Elliot. In an interview with the Wheel, Roy explained that she, along with other candidates, was nominated by her peers.

Roy also disclosed that she has been hired with a five-year tenure. Freeman will return as the first executive associate dean of the College after taking a sabbatical, according to Roy.

Roy explained that she wants to continue efforts to increase faculty diversity and retention.

“We’re at a particular moment, I think, in the College and the University where there’s a lot of really important work that’s being done — a lot of momentum around issues that matter to me,” Roy said. “I think the leadership at the University right now is fantastic, and it’s a great time to contribute to those efforts.”

Elliott wrote in a Dec. 5 email to the Wheel that he was thrilled at the opportunity to work with Roy.

“Deboleena Roy is an exceptional scholar and teacher, with expertise in both the natural sciences and the humanities,” Elliott wrote. “She is committed to fostering an inclusive climate for both faculty and students, and she will bring both passion and creativity to this role.” 

Roy holds a joint position as professor and chair of the Department of WGSS and a professor in the Department of Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology. She is a senior faculty fellow at the Emory Center for Ethics and serves as an associate faculty member in the Neuroscience Program of the Graduate Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences at the Laney Graduate School.

“I think the nature of my work is very interdisciplinary, and you can’t do interdisciplinary work without collaboration,” Roy said. “I’m really excited to … have the confidence of my peers, to be in a position where I’ll be able to work with faculty who are in the sciences as well as humanities as well as social sciences.”

Outside of work, Roy plays the bass guitar for The Lollipops, her family band.

Roy previously served as a faculty research fellow for the Michelle R. Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University (Calif.) from September 2008 to June 2009, and was a member of the 2014-15 graduating class of senior faculty research fellows at the Bill and Carol Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry.

After receiving a Master of Science in biology from McMaster University (Ontario) in 1996, Roy went on to receive a doctorate in reproductive neuroendocrinology and molecular biology from the Institute of Medical Science at the University of Toronto in 2001.