Faculty - Vice Presidents and Deans

Medaille Faculty Mary Louise Hill

Norman MuirNorman Muir, Ph.D.

Associate Professor and Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs
Dr. Norman Muir (nmuir@medaille.edu) joined Medaille College in June 2004 as the undergraduate academic dean. Since receiving his Ph.D. in literature from SUNY Stony Brook in 1984, he has served as a full-time faculty member or academic administrator at three other small, private, independent colleges. His scholarly interests remain in the areas of sixteenth and seventeenth century British literature, with an emphasis on Elizabethan and Jacobean comedy. He continues to research and write about the influence of the theological doctrine of Christian Patience on Renaissance and seventeenth century literature through John Milton.

Dr. Muir has taught a variety of college writing and literature courses, ranging from developmental English to technical writing and from introduction to literature classes to a senior seminar in the novels of William Faulkner. While at Centenary College in New Jersey, he received the Lindback Foundation Award for Teaching Excellence after being nominated by his students. He has also had the good fortune of traveling to China twice in recent years to teach for short periods of time at five Chinese universities.

As an academic administrator, his primary interests are in academic program development, experiential learning, strategic planning, improving teaching and learning, and the assessment of student learning and institutional effectiveness.

His family includes his wife of thirty years, Donna, and his adopted daughter, Alexa Grace Fuyan Ting Muir, born in Changting County of Fujian Province in southeastern China. Alexa is in the fourth grade and already smarter than her father! Also living in the family residence are his mother, Joyce, and a gracefully aging parakeet of 13 years, Oliver.

He is a lifelong New York Yankee fan with a passion for baseball. When not watching a Yankee game on television or playing with Alexa, he can be found indulging his interest in Italian Renaissance art and literature.


Illana LaneIllana Lane, Ph.D.

Associate Professor and Dean of the School of Education
Dr. Illana R. Lane (ilane@medaille.edu) has taught at Medaille since 2001, instructing undergraduate and graduate students in the graduate programs. She has instructed students in math, science, and technology methods of education, foundations of education, diversity and research in education. She has also advised student teachers and directed master's thesis projects. She earned a Ph.D. in the sociology of education from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 2003. In addition to serving on many College committees, Dr. Lane has served as chair of program director for the Elementary Education programs. She serves on the Amherst Central School District Board of Education and is a board member for the New York Association of Teacher Educators (NYSATE). Her participation in other organizations includes, Jack and Jill of America Inc., and Delta Kappa Gamma. In addition to presenting at local, national and international conferences on educational issues, she has also received recognition from Madison Who’s Who of Executives and Professionals and Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges.

Joseph SavareseJoseph E. Savarese, D.V.M.

Professor and Chair, Veterinary Technology Department, Interim Dean of the Undergraduate College
Dr. Joseph E. Savarese (jsavarese@medaille.edu) has taught at Medaille since 1986. He earned his doctorate in veterinary medicine from the University of Parma, Italy, and had previous experience as a secondary school Spanish teacher, school administrator and in adult education. Savarese is licensed to practice veterinary medicine in New York and Florida, and is an active member of several local, state and national veterinary organizations. As a volunteer, Savarese performs surgery and consults for the SPCA of Erie County, serves as an advisor to a Boy Scout Explorer Post in veterinary medicine, and is on the scientific staff of the Erie County Sheriff's Office. He has published and spoken locally and nationwide on the role of the veterinary technician in veterinary practice.

Jenifer Bavifard, Ed.D.

Interim Dean for the School of Adult and Graduate Education
Dr. Jenifer Bavifard (jbavifard@medaille.edu) began her career at Medaille College as the Personal Counselor/Retention Coordinator/Foreign Student Advisor in 1981. She came to Medaille after earning both her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology at SUC Fredonia and Master of Science in Counseling at Syracuse University. In 1985 Dr. Bavifard took over the directorship of Off Campus Programs, coordinating the College’s associate, bachelor, and certificate/degree programs at local male correctional facilities, growing the program from two to four facilities over the decade-long venture.

In 1996, as Associate Dean, Dr. Bavifard directed the development of the Accelerated Learning Program.  The original business bachelor degree completion program for working adult students grew to include associate and master (MBA and MOL) degree programs.  Over time the adult and graduate programs physically moved to Amherst and Rochester locations. Dr. Bavifard held the role of Executive Director of the Accelerated Learning Program and Amherst Campus Director in 2002 and also provided oversight for the Rochester Campus. She has been a member of numerous college committees/task forces and personally supports fund raising activities for JDRF, the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation Research Foundation.

In solidarity with her working adult students, Dr. Bavifard completed her doctoral studies in 2008 earning an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from D’Youville College.  Her dissertation studies were focused on Iranian-American and Iranian foreign students and their experiences in higher education during the post-9/11 environment.  Having taught briefly in Iran from 1979-80, she continues to be interested in the foreign student experience and the cross-cultural arena in general.

I'm grateful for the education I've received.

The instructors were knowledgeable and welcomed class discussions, with
respect for each student's contribution. I've learned how to be a more
effective leader. My capstone class gave insight on how to combine all
the education learned to operate a business. That's when I realized how
much I had sharpened my knowledge.

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