Meet The Leadership

Nora Lewis, Vice Dean for Professional and Liberal Education

Nora Lewis Vice DeanNora Lewis, appointed Vice Dean for Professional and Liberal Education in 2010, has been a member of the full-time professional staff in the School of Arts & Sciences since 1993. Prior to becoming Vice Dean, she was Executive Director of the College of Liberal & Professional Studies (LPS). She has also served as Executive Director of LPS and interim director of Penn’s English Language Programs.

Lewis has 20 years of experience in international higher education. Her responsibilities have included teaching English as a second language, program development and coordination, marketing, recruitment, student services and advising, and general administration. Her publications include journal articles and book chapters on the role of input and interaction in second language acquisition (with Teresa Pica and Lloyd Holliday); on intergenerational approaches to adult literacy and ESL programming (with Gail Weinstein-Shr); and on language planning and policy in the former Soviet republics. Her research interests focus on the role of learner production and feedback in second language acquisition. She is a member of NAFSA, AACRAO, TESOL, and UPCEA.

Lewis holds a B.A. in English from the College of William and Mary and a Certificate of Advanced Study in Educational Linguistics from the University of Pennsylvania.

Rita M. McGlone, Executive Director, Professional and Organizational Development

Rita is the Executive Director of Professional and Organizational Development at the School of Arts and Sciences (SAS), University of Pennsylvania. As part of the School’s division of liberal and professional studies, she is responsible for generating new business opportunities, employer engagement, and extending the reach of Penn’s educational assets to broader audiences. Rita provides strategic direction to the division through her role on the senior team, and is adept at leveraging the skills and research of faculty in the design of innovative programs that enhance professional and organizational growth. She has been at Penn for 24 years, holding a variety of senior leadership positions. She spent 16 years as a senior director for Wharton Executive Education where she served on the executive committee, oversaw multiple business units, spearheaded corporate ventures for social impact, consulted with global organizations, and designed customized educational solutions to complex organizational issues.

Before coming to Penn, Rita managed a small consulting business which supported non-profit organizations through leadership transitions. Her education includes participation in executive education programs at both Harvard and Wharton and two master’s degrees—one in Law and Social Policy and one in Social Work from Bryn Mawr College. Rita has served in leadership positions on several local and national non-profit boards. She resides in Philadelphia in a multi-generational household that includes her partner of over 30 years, their two daughters, and her elderly parents.

Dr. Robert Hollebeek, PhD, Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy

While studying for his doctorate at UC Berkeley, Robert Hollebeek was a member of one of the first particle physics experiments to use completely digital techniques for acquiring data from fast electronic detectors with hundreds of thousands of electronic elements. This experiment was conducted at the Stanford Linear Accelerator and discovered the charm quark, later leading to the Nobel Prize for Burton Richter.

From the Stanford accelerator, Hollebeek joined Columbia University as a post-doctoral researcher and was the lead for computing and electronics from the Columbia group at the CERN Accelerator lab in Geneva, Switzerland. From CERN, Hollebeek returned to Stanford as an Assistant Professor and was involved there in several particle physics experiments with very large scale data and computing needs.

Hollebeek went to the University of Pennsylvania in 1986. The experiment he joined was the largest electronic detector in the world at the time. The research was conducted at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Chicago, and again involved the collection and analysis of ultra-large data samples. To accomplish this, Hollebeek began designing clustered computing architectures that were in turn, used to simulate and analyze physics data. The experiment was one of two detectors responsible for the discovery of the top quark. During this time, Professor Hollebeek became interested in other areas with ultra-large data and computing needs in particular medical images. A pilot program in functional MRI, for example, used the parallel clustered computing architectures to analyze patterns in brain imaging. At that time, Professor Hollebeek joined an effort to design data storage and index handling for mammography images.

Professor Robert Hollebeek was the technical lead for the National Library of Medicine sponsored National Digital Mammography Archive (NDMA). This digital storage and search/retrieval system funded by the US National Institutes of Health established a distributed grid of systems for medical records and image storage. Previously, Professor Hollebeek was also co-founder of the National Scalable Cluster Project at the University of Pennsylvania (NSCP); a multi-university consortium that built data mining infrastructure and ultra-large databases connected by high-speed wide area networks. His activities at the University of Pennsylvania included parallel and distributed computing approaches to the analysis of data from many fields including medical data, social and economic data, and scientific data. Common across these areas is the need for ultra-large data systems, data mining, scalable systems, and efficient access to terabyte and petabyte-scale data. Dr. Hollebeek and the NSCP group won several national prizes for their work in distributed clustered systems and data mining.

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