Cardwell Named New Dean of Poynter Library

A photo of Catherine Cardwell, who has been named the new dean of the Nelson Poynter Memorial Library at USF St. Petersburg

Catherine Cardwell

USF St. Petersburg Regional Chancellor Sophia Wisniewska has appointed Catherine Cardwell as Dean of the Nelson Poynter Memorial Library. As the top library administrator and a member of the University’s leadership team, Cardwell will work to optimize library processes and help meet strategic goals around student success, inclusion, and instructional services.

“I am pleased to announce that Catherine will join the USFSP community as part of our leadership team,” said Regional Chancellor Wisniewska. “Her extensive resume and leadership experience in both library and administrative areas will serve our students well.”

Cardwell has served as Director of Libraries at Ohio Wesleyan University (OWU) for more than four years. Prior to that, she was a librarian and administrator at Bowling Green State University (BGSU) in Ohio. Throughout her career, Cardwell has been active in OhioLINK, the statewide library consortium, and was one of three independent college representatives elected from a selection of 50 library directors to serve on OhioLINK’s Library Advisory Board with voting privileges. From 2013-15, she also was the independent representative in the consortium’s Library Advisory Council Coordinative Committee, which coordinates ongoing efforts of the council with the OhioLINK executive director.

“Catherine is a visionary who is highly innovative in her approach to teaching and learning,” said Dr. Olivia Hodges, who served as chair of the USFSP search committee. “When you look at our strategic plan, she has the capacity to align her efforts to its goals and will enable the library to move to the next level. I believe she is a perfect fit.”

Cardwell earned her bachelor’s degrees in English and French from Youngstown State University, a master’s degree in French language and literature from the University of Pittsburgh, and a master’s degree in Library Science from Kent State University.

“Catherine really stood out from the other candidates,” said Dr. V. Mark Durand, interim regional vice chancellor for Academic Affairs. “Her collaboration with other libraries and experience aligns with USF St. Petersburg and will help propel us forward to meet, if not exceed, our goals and enable future growth.”

“I am honored to join USF St. Petersburg, a vibrant university with a clear vision of its future and a commitment to excellence,” said Cardwell. “The Nelson Poynter Memorial Library is a contemporary, dynamic center of teaching, learning, and research. I welcome the opportunity to work closely with the library faculty and staff, along with the university and broader community, and lead the library to achieve greater levels of excellence.”

Effective July 1, Cardwell will take over for Deborah Henry, who has served as interim dean since June 2015. Henry, who has worked at the Nelson Poynter Memorial Library since 1988, is a librarian in Library Research and Instruction.

“We are so grateful to Deborah for her ongoing commitment to USFSP,” said Wisniewska. “We all have benefitted by her dedication to the library and student success.”