June 3, 2022
Melinda Cro appointed assistant dean of students in the College of Arts and Sciences
Melinda Cro has been appointed assistant dean of students in the College of Arts and Sciences, effective Monday, June 27.
Cro is a professor of modern languages and specializes in early modern French literature and language pedagogy. She most recently served as the head of the modern languages department. She joined the faculty at Kansas State University in 2010 after earning her doctorate in romance languages — French and Italian — from the University of Georgia.
As the assistant dean of students, Cro will work with colleagues in the dean's office to support the mission of the college; oversee student-focused operations for the college; work directly with students to address issues concerning their schedules, grades, withdrawals, transfers and degree completion; supervise the dean's office advisors and serve as the advising lead for the College of Arts and Sciences; oversee or coordinate various other student-centered programs and activities in the college; and serve on university committees that address student and academic issues.
Since arriving at K-State, Cro has taken on a range of responsibilities that are focused on student success. In her various roles as a faculty member, researcher, department head, graduate program director and French language program coordinator, her focus has regularly been on creating opportunities for engaging students and charting pathways to support their success. Service has formed an important part of Cro's contribution to the department, university and profession, and she has served on all major departmental standing committees as well as on Graduate Council, the Graduate Committee on Planning and the University Handbook Committee.
"The students are why we are here in the first place. There would be no K-State without them," Cro said. "I am dedicated to supporting them as they pursue their academic career at the university and cannot wait to begin working with the college's amazing students, advisors and faculty. I am truly honored to have an opportunity to serve as the assistant dean of students for the College of Arts and Sciences."
Her research interests include experiences of nature and the representation of the natural world in literature and art of the 16th-18th centuries in Europe — particularly France and Italy — as well as language pedagogy and the digital humanities. She has authored two monographs, "Armas y Letras: la Conquista de Italia (1405-1625)," in 2012, and most recently "Integrating the Digital Humanities into the Second Language Classroom," in 2020, which is a practical guide for language instructors on approaching the digital humanities in both the secondary and higher ed classroom.
Cro has obtained several research grants, including as a fellow at the Hall Center for the Humanities at the University of Kansas and as a participant of the National Endowment for the Humanities Institute for Advanced Topics in the Digital Humanities, "Textual Data and Digital Texts in the Undergraduate Classroom" in 2018, contributing to an openly licensed, digital anthology. In 2020 she was recognized as a Master Open Education Resource Teacher by the Center for Open Educational Resources and Language Learning at the University of Texas, Austin for her work to develop the open-access textbook for French IV at K-State. Her scholarly work has taken a range of forms, from digital projects to scholarly articles, and has been published in a range of peer-reviewed journals in North America and Europe. She currently serves as contributing editor for French Seventeenth-Century Studies for the annual review, "The Year's Work in Modern Language Studies," published by Brill.
"Dr. Cro's student success focus will let the college build on the retention and graduation successes we have had in the last five years," said Dean Amit Chakrabarti. "Melinda's experience as a former department head will also be an asset as a core member of the dean's office team."