and engineering | Fine
names five (three newcomers and two current TCU deans) of the seven who
will lead its new colleges
Add Ran College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Born April 2, 1948, in Lubbock. Volcansek married retired English
professor Harry Antrim in 1982, a union in which Volcansek happily
acquired two stepchildren. The couple now enjoy time with their
two grandchildren. They have one family cat, Mimi, but also spearheaded
an effort to spay, neuter and vaccinate stray cats in their neighborhood.
PhD, Texas Tech University, 1973
MA, Texas Tech University, 1971
BA, Abilene Christian College, 1969
A faculty member and administrator since 1973 at Florida International
University, Dr. Volcansek has been a professor of political science
since 1986. The author of eight books and 20 articles. she founded
FIU's summer study abroad program at Cambridge University and directed
her department's graduate program with 35 master's and doctoral
On any given
day, Mary Volcansek can be found in her yard, pulling weeds, trimming
back overgrowth and nurturing the many exotic orchids flourishing at her
her garden "cathartic," a welcome change from a rigorous schedule
of political science classes and research.
might say the new dean of AddRan College of Humanities and Social Sciences
is really just doing more of what she does best -- coaxing growth by providing
a rich environment of necessary resources.
role of the dean is to foster faculty visions," she said. "I
hope to be able to motivate, prod and jostle faculty to think about things
they would like to see changed, things they would like to improve, goals
and dreams that they have, and see what can be made a reality."
Volcansek (pronounced Vol-CAN-sek) wasnÕt looking for a deanship when
she heard about the TCU opening, but the "serendipitous" opportunity
to return to her home state seemed too good to let pass.
her whole life has been "without great malice aforethought,"
she said, and many of her greatest learning experiences have been a matter
of chance. True.
through a night of terror during Hurricane Andrew in 1992, Volcansek found
new joy in things usually taken for granted, like electricity, water and
windows in your house.
husband and I spent four hours in a closet with a friend and four cats
while the water rose on the floor, listening to wood tear and things break
and crash," she said. "But coming out of that you learn about
the good in people, how much people will help people."
including several stints living in Europe, Volcansek brings to TCU a global
perspective. The latest of her eight books covers the Italian constitutional
exposed to how itÕs done elsewhere, to different cultures, different histories,
different languages, is such a crucial part of education," she said.
knows that most of what any TCU student will learn will happen right inside
the college she now leads.
will define them throughout the rest of their life as an educated person,"
she said. "The ability to appreciate literature or to understand
history or how the economic marketplace works is essential.
school will not be a good business school, and engineering or the sciences
will not be able to achieve their goals unless we are top notch, too."