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Friday, August 4, 2006

Dr. Alona Smolova to lead Institutional Research at UNCP

Dr. Alona Smolova has joined The University of North Carolina at Pembroke as director of the Office of Institutional Research, Planning and Assessment and as an associate professor of English.

Alona SmolovaAt UNCP, she will provide data support and analysis to University decision makers and UNC General Administration. The office serves academic and administrative departments as well as the University Planning Council to develop University goals and objectives and to assess institutional success.

Dr. Smolova comes to UNCP from the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) where she served as special assistant to the vice chancellor for academic services and research. Before that, she was director for Institutional Research at New River Community College in Virginia.

A native of Kherson, Ukraine, Dr. Smolova was an assistant professor of English at New River Community College in Dublin, Va., and assistant professor of English education at Kherson State Pedagogical University.

She reports to Chancellor Allen C. Meadors for planning functions and for academic matters to Dr. Charles Harrington, provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs.

“We are excited about having someone with Dr. Smolova’s breadth and
depth joining the UNCP team, Chancellor Meadors said. “We are confident that Dr. Smolova will allow us to better handle our University data.”

Dr. Harrington said Dr. Smolova’s strong background in research would aid the University as it plans for the future.

“Dr. Smolova’s extensive background and experience in institutional research and planning will provide us with tremendous opportunity to broaden our evaluation of the effectiveness and efficiency of the programs and services that we offer to our students and the communities we serve,” Dr. Harrington said. “Additionally, she will bring leadership to our efforts in student learning outcomes assessment.”

Dr. Smolova said her research role is to describe, analyze and interpret the institutional reality at UNCP so that its leadership may visualize a better institution.

“There are several areas that we can contribute to this University’s already strong foundation,” she said. “One priority is to better serve the information needs of individuals, departments and the University as a whole.

“UNCP already has a strong sense of its identity, and its leadership already has a strong history of relying on data to make good decisions,” Dr. Smolova continued.

“One of the things that impressed me about Pembroke is its priority on teaching and learning,” she said.

A professor of English, composition and education, Dr. Smolova said she looks forward to joining other faculty members and teaching.

“Hopefully, I will have the opportunity to teach because I enjoy it very much,” she said. “I enjoy the dynamics of interacting with students, the two-way street of the classroom discussion.”

Dr. Smolova earned postgraduate certification in institutional research from Florida State University. She earned a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, a Master of Science in Education from Radford University and a Master of Arts in Education from Kherson State Pedagogical University in the Ukraine.

She is a member of the Association for Institutional Research, the National Staff Development Council and the Rotary Club International. Dr. Smolova was active in international programs and received the Excellence in Distance Education Award from VCCS. She was a fellow at the Central Virginia Writing Project at the University of Virginia, a fellow at the Cultural Studies Seminar at Emory University and a fellow at the National Data Policy Institute in Washington, D.C.

She has published and presented on academic subjects of rhetoric and composition. Her dissertation was entitled, “A Study of Relative Effectiveness of Structured and Non-structured Strategies of Rhetorical Invention for the Argumentative Discourse Produced by College Students” (1999).

To learn more about the Office of Institutional Research, please call 910.521.6291 or email

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