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Cynthia Y. Young, PhD

Cynthia Y. Young became the Founding Dean of Clemson University’s new College of Science in 2017. Dean Young’s first priority was bringing diverse internal and external stakeholders together to cast a collective bold vision and create the strategic roadmap (SCIForward) for building a world-class College of Science. Under her leadership, the new College has helped elevate Clemson by strengthening the R1 culture, increasing student success, and establishing key partnerships that enhance the entire enterprise. Faculty have increased scholarly productivity and doubled external research funding; Advising teams and professional staff have helped students reduce time to degree and increase 6-year graduation rates from 78% to 86%; a culture of operational excellence has been established and new revenues secured which has enabled strategic investment in top talent and core infrastructure. Dean Young believes that diversity makes us smarter as evidenced by her own transformational leadership team and she believes in the power of partnership which has led to alumni, corporations, and private donors establishing new support through student internship/entrepreneurship opportunities, research collaborations, endowed faculty positions, scholarships/fellowships, annual giving, and expansion of unrestricted giving.

Prior to Clemson, Dr. Young spent 20 years at the University of Central Florida (UCF) where she served in several leadership roles, including Vice Provost for Faculty Excellence and UCF Global, Associate Dean for the College of Sciences, Co-Founder of UCF’s EXCEL program, NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative, and the Faculty Senate leadership team.

As an interdisciplinary scholar, Dr. Young developed mathematical models governing atmospheric effects in laser communication channels. Her scholarly impact has been recognized nationally by the Office of Naval Research with the Young Investigator Award, and she is a fellow of the International Society of Optics and Photonics. The author of more than 70 books and publications, Dr. Young secured continuous federal funding from 1999 through 2017 totaling more than $5M from the Department of Defense and the National Science Foundation. She is the author of several college textbooks including College Algebra, Trigonometry, Algebra & Trigonometry, and Precalculus that are currently in their fifth editions and used throughout the United States. While at UCF, Young was named a Pegasus Professor and recognized through many research, teaching, and service awards.

Dr. Young earned a B.A. degree in education (secondary mathematics) from the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill), an M.S. in mathematical sciences from UCF, and an M.S. in electrical engineering and Ph.D. in applied mathematics from the University of Washington, where she was supported by a federal doctoral fellowship.