Following a national search that attracted a number of highly qualified candidates, Dr. Beth Keating Aracena has been named Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Alvernia University, effective July 1.
Aracena is currently associate dean for curriculum/general education and cross cultural programs at Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg, Virginia, where she is also an associate professor of music. Eastern Mennonite is a private liberal arts institution with approximately 1,500 students known for its emphasis on social justice, cross-cultural studies, and global engagement.
A graduate of Vassar College, she completed her master’s and doctoral work at the University of Chicago. In addition to her teaching and administrative experience, Dr. Aracena is a scholar in ethnomusicology.
“This is an exciting step for Alvernia’s College of Arts and Science,” said Provost Shirley Williams. “Dr. Keating is an outstanding leader who will move the College and its programs into the next stage of its growth. She is committed to providing the direction for the College of Arts and Sciences that will strengthen the importance of the liberal arts to our students, programs and community stakeholders.”
Prior to her role as associate dean, Dr. Aracena served as a full-time faculty member and chair of the music department. Her major achievements include revising and implementing a new core curriculum, facilitating an assessment processes and reinvigorating the Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival. Previous to her work at Eastern Mennonite University, she was an instructor of violin and piano at Levine School of Music in Washington, D.C.
She has numerous articles, reviews and conference presentations to her credit, primarily focused in the area of Latin American music and the Jesuit influence on music in colonial Chile. She currently has two books in progress: an edited collection entitled Serving and Leading in a Global Context: A Practical Guide to Faculty-led Cross Cultural Programs and Anonymoous Villancicos in the Santiago Cathedral Music Archive: An Anthology with Critical Text.