Takita Sumter Named Dean of Winthrop’s College of Arts and Sciences

May 22, 2019


  • Sumter served as interim dean of the college in 2017-18.
  • Sumter first came to Winthrop in 2004 as an assistant professor of chemistry; she was promoted to professor in 2014.

Takita SumterROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – Winthrop University President Dan Mahony announced today that Takita Felder Sumter, vice provost for faculty affairs and professor of chemistry, will serve as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, beginning July 1.

Sumter, who served as interim dean of the college in 2017-18, will provide leadership to Winthrop’s largest degree-granting college—including 14 departments and five centers—and will oversee more than 300 full- and part-time faculty and staff and a $18 million budget. During her term as interim dean, the college completed 14 faculty searches, procured over $1 million in master lease equipment, added three new minors and negotiated several inter-institutional program agreements. As dean, Sumter looks forward to the opportunity to expand on the more recent initiatives underway while also identifying new opportunities that support the Winthrop Plan.

“Providing meaningful learning experiences for our students is intrinsic to the work of the Winthrop community. I am honored to again lead the College of Arts and Sciences, one of the campus’ most diverse and important units," said Sumter. “I appreciate President Mahony’s trust in me, and I look forward to continuing to serve Winthrop and our students in this capacity.” 

Mahony said that Sumter has earned the respect and trust of her colleagues. “Takita is well respected by all who know and work with her. In fact, when talking with department chairs and faculty within the college, support for Takita was widespread and very strong. She clearly made a positive impression on her colleagues during her time as interim dean. I have complete confidence in her leadership and her ability to move the college forward on a number of initiatives, and we are pleased to offer her this new role.” 

Sumter first came to Winthrop in 2004 as an assistant professor of chemistry; she was promoted to professor in 2014. She's served in varied administrative roles and service positions both at Winthrop and within the broader biochemistry community. Prior to her more recent work as interim dean and vice provost for faculty affairs, she was the first Provost’s Faculty Fellow, interim chair of the Department of Human Nutrition and institutional co-principal investigator of Winthrop's IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) program. 

Sumter's scholarship has focused on understanding the biochemical processes involved in cancer initiation. She has secured more than $1.5 million in federal funding to support her research with students and has collaborated on other major funding initiatives. The funds have yielded several publications in cancer research journals, book chapters and editorial contributions to professional publications. 

As a leader at the national level who promotes best practices in biochemistry education, Sumter currently serves on the National Science Foundation's advisory committee for the biology directorate and on the presiding council for the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB). Further, she is one of the founding organizers of ASBMB's Interactive Mentoring Initiatives for Grantsmanship Enhancement (IMAGE) program. 

Sumter received her Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of South Carolina and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in pediatric oncology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine prior to joining the faculty at Winthrop in 2004. 

She replaces Adrienne McCormick, who is assuming the role of Winthrop provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. 

For more information, please contact Monica Bennett, director of communications, at 803/323-2236 or e-mail bennettm@winthrop.edu.

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