As of July 2019, Claudia Bornholdt, Ph.D., will be Coastal Carolina University’s dean of Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts.
Bornholdt hails from the Catholic University of America, a private university in Washington, D.C. She brings experience from numerous leadership positions within CUA as well as a rich educational experience obtained internationally. To accept the position of dean, she leaves open the Walburg Chair of German Language and Literature as well as chair of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures.
She has held numerous positions including advisory for CUA’s German majors and minors, the Interdisciplinary Minor in Asian Studies, and the Certificate in Islamic World Studies.
Bornholdt shared her vision for Edwards College when she came to campus earlier this year as part of the interview process.
“The vision I think and the only way for humanities and arts to continue to do what is so successful in education is build bridges,” said Bornholdt. “What we do in the humanities is the digital world. There isn't a divide between humanities and sciences anymore. . . You are already embracing this, the connection, and providing this already to the students. . . My vision is to communicate to the world what you're doing.”
Bornholdt’s studies focus on medieval German and Scandinavian as well as French and Latin literature. Her work in this field is primarily focused on vernacular writing and language throughout various genres, languages and cultures.
The CUA reports “she has presented her research at more than forty conferences and symposia that range from medieval literature to language pedagogy. She has also published many book reviews for journals such as JEGP (Journal of English and Germanic Philology), Speculum, German Quarterly, Colloquia Germanica, and Medium Aevum.”
When the University of Mary Washington was in search of a dean for their College of Arts and Sciences, UMW’s student newspaper, The Blue and Gray Press, reported that Bornholdt had made it clear to the student body that she considered “humanities and STEM (to be) at the same level of importance” since she views that “these fields are codependent.”
Her goal is to influence university policy in order for it to become more "inclusive, accessible, and global."
The student newspaper highlighted an identifying ethic of the new dean.
“When Dr. Bornholdt as the Dean Search Committee and CFO Search Committee at Catholic University, the applicant pools did not feature candidates of different ethnicities and genders. She stated that she was the only woman on both search committees,” The Blue and Gray Press said. “Dr. Bornholdt sees this as problematic because she believes education is enriched by diversity, and should strive to be more inclusive.”
With a dean so focused on communication, inclusivity, as well as bridging the gap between the sciences and humanities, the Edwards College is expected to reach higher heights with her at the helm.
Current Dean Dan Ennis will return to teaching after an eight-year stint as the dean.