University of Vermont

Cepeda-Benito Named Dean of UVM College of Arts and Sciences

Dr. Antonio Cepeda-Benito

Antonio Cepeda-Benito, dean of faculties and associate provost and professor of psychology at Texas A&M University, has been appointed dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Vermont, effective July 16, 2012.

Cepeda-Benito comes to UVM as an accomplished administrator and respected researcher with more than 50 articles published in leading peer-reviewed journals in psychology and pharmacology. He currently oversees seven offices within the provost’s office and is responsible for faculty development and academic affairs for 2,600 faculty members in 10 colleges and 66 departments. He brings substantial experience in strategic planning and budgeting, curricular and pedagogic innovation and in the advancement of diversity to his new role at UVM.

“Dr. Cepeda-Benito stood out in a very strong pool of candidates for his first rate scholarship and exemplary leadership skills,” said Interim President John Bramley. “He’s just the kind accomplished scholar and experienced leader we need at the helm of our largest academic unit as we continue to advance in the ranks of the nation’s premier small research universities. I couldn’t be more excited about his joining the academic leadership team at UVM.”

Cepeda-Benito has been a member of the Texas A&M faculty since 1994 and is well known for his research on the behavioral and neurological impact of exposure to pharmacological agents such as morphine, nicotine and cocaine. He has used both experimental and survey-based methods to understand addictive behavior, in many instances in cross-cultural and multi-ethnic populations. His research connects the disciplines of behavioral neuroscience and clinical psychology to investigate drug addiction and eating disorders.

“Texas A&M University has been my home for 18 nurturing, fulfilling years,” said Cepeda-Benito. “I leave but I’ll keep my fond and dear memories. At the same time I am excited about the future and the privilege of setting the vision for a great college of arts and sciences at a wonderful, historic institution. There are many factors that lured me to UVM. At the top of the list are UVM’s values and the people who embrace and shape them. UVM has a fantastic cadre of faculty, staff, and students led by equally impressive leaders. I wanted to contribute to a winning team.”

Cepeda-Benito, who completed his undergraduate studies at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, was named one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Hispanics” by Hispanic Business Magazine, and is the recipient of a number of awards at Texas A&M, including Psychology Teacher of the Year, Academic Inspiration Award and multiple diversity service awards. He has received two National Awards of Excellence from the National Hispanic Science Network on Drug Abuse (NHSN) – one for contributions in public service and the other for mentoring. He is a founding member of the steering committee of the RED Latino Americana (REDLA) on drug addiction and the founding Chair of the International Research Collaboration Subcommittee of the NHSN.

“We are very fortunate to have such a well-respected scholar and administrator coming to the University of Vermont to lead our largest college,” said Jane E. Knodell, provost and senior vice president. “Dr. Cepeda-Benito’s extensive background as a researcher and in leadership positions in higher education will have a positive impact on the entire campus community and will be instrumental in helping UVM continue the strong upward momentum it established over the last decade.”

Cepeda-Benito, whose research has been supported by grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the Texas Department of Health, and the Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology, was licensed and has practiced psychology in Texas since 1996. Since then he has served almost exclusively Spanish speaking individuals and supervised students who also work with low-income, Spanish speaking clients.