Catawba College Appoints Dr. Monica R. Cowart as New Provost & Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

After a national search, Catawba College has appointed Dr. Monica R. Cowart as Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs. She will begin the new position in early January.

With an impressive track record of achievements and a wealth of experience in higher education leadership, Cowart brings a dynamic and innovative approach to the academic leadership team.

“We are so pleased that Dr. Cowart is joining our learning community,” said Catawba College President David P. Nelson. “Her scholarly credentials, her leadership experience, and our shared values make her an exceptional fit for this role. I look forward to working with her to implement our shared vision and priorities identified in Catawba’s new strategic plan.”

Cowart is currently at Lebanon Valley College (LVC) in Annville, PA where she is a tenured professor of psychology. She previously served as the Vice President of Academic Affairs and was the founding Provost. Prior to LVC, Cowart held several leadership positions at Merrimack College in North Andover, MA including Vice Provost, Acting Dean of the School of Liberal Arts, Associate Dean of the School of Liberal Arts, and Founding Director, Interdisciplinary Institute.

Cowart is currently a Bridging Difference in Higher Education Learning Fellow at the University of California-Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center. She is a former American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow with Emerson College President Lee Pelton.

Notable accomplishments include a remarkable 9% increase in first-year retention within one year at Lebanon Valley College and the creation of seven graduate programs, an Honors Program, four undergraduate majors, 12 stackable graduate certificates, and accelerated degree options in less than three years. She has led strategic planning and implementation at two institutions and a non-profit.

Cowart has also been very involved in her local community, holding various leadership roles at non-profit and social justice organizations. She was elected to the board of THE CENTER for Entrepreneurial Excellence in 2021. THE CENTER is the premier and comprehensive provider of value-added services, connecting resources, education, support, and collaboration for the Lebanon County entrepreneurial community. She also serves on the Lebanon Valley Chamber Foundation Board of Directors.

“I am honored to be chosen to serve as provost and EVP at an institution that empowers students to find their purpose while meeting the challenges of today’s world — a student-centered institution that is nationally recognized for innovation, social mobility, environmental sustainability, and exceptional undergraduate teaching,” shared Cowart. “These are values I share and have upheld throughout my academic career.”

Cowart will relocate to Salisbury with her husband, Kevin Ellenwood, and their border collie mix, Poppy. Ellenwood is a managing director in a global technology consulting firm focusing on health and public service. They have three daughters who live throughout the US. They are looking forward to being closer to family and friends in North and South Carolina and becoming deeply involved in Salisbury’s civic and cultural life.

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