Dr. Richard Dammers Named Dean of the College of Performing Arts

Dr. Richard Dammers Named Dean of the College of Performing Arts

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Dr. Richard Dammers

Dr. Richard (Rick) Dammers has spent his time at Rowan University as an innovative and dedicated professor, in addition to taking on the role of Chair of the Department of Music. Until now. Dammers has been named as the new Dean of the College of Performing Arts, following in the wake of Dr. John Pastin’s announced retirement at the end of the academic year.

“I am honored and excited to become the Dean of the College of Performing Arts,” Dammers said, who joined the Rowan faculty in 2006. “The College of Performing Arts has a long tradition of excellence, and we are looking forward to building upon that foundation and increasing our impact.”

Dammers’ academic interest and his focus in teaching here has been on areas that look to the future, with courses in technology-based music education, as well reaching across disciplines with the Exploring Medicine through Musical Composition course at Cooper Medical School.

Outside of the classroom, he has taken his knowledge and research to broader audiences through published book chapters and articles in the Bulletin for the Council for Research in Music Education, Contributions to Music Education, Journal of Technology and Music Learning, and Update: Applications of Research in Music Education. His expertise in these areas also has been shared through presentations at state, national, and international conferences including sessions for TI:ME (Technology Institute for Music Educators), the Association for Technology in Music Instruction, the Bergen (Norway) Interactive Music Conference, and New Directions in Music Education.

“My professional focus has always been at the intersection of the arts and education, rooted in my belief that the performing arts improve our lives and our world,” Dammers added. “I’m looking forward to continuing that work as Dean.”

Dammers is co-founder (with David Williams) of MusicCreativity.org, a site dedicated to encouraging the development of technology-based music classes to reach non-traditional music students. He also coordinates the national TI:ME Music Technology Leadership Academy, which has been supported by grants from the National Association of Music Merchants for the past six years.

A native of Illinois, Dammers was a music teacher (band and technology) and the Fine Arts Facilitator for the Ladue School District in suburban St. Louis for 13 years before coming to Rowan. During his time there, he infused technology into the beginning band program through laptop-based composition and website-supported practicing.  He also proposed, implemented, and taught Music Though Technology, a high school course designed to reach non-traditional music students.

“I come from a long line of educators,” he noted, pointing to his grandmother (a middle school social studies teacher in Clifton, NJ); his mother (a kindergarten teacher who studied at William Patterson University); and his father (a professor of English, Associate Dean, and Assistant to the President at Illinois State University). “By nature, nurture or both, I have always believed in the transformative power of education.”

Dammers earned a Bachelor of Music Education from Northwestern University. He continued his studies at the University of Illinois where he earned a Masters of Music Education and Ph.D. in Music Education.

In other capacities at Rowan and beyond, Dammers has led the university level Tenure and Recontracting Committee, sits on the Board of Directors for the College Music Society and the New Jersey Music Educators Association, and serves as a visiting evaluator for the National Association of Schools of Music.

He lives in Glassboro with his wife Becky, and daughters Abby and Emily.