Wendy Suzuki, a professor of neural science and psychology at New York University, has been named Seryl Kushner Dean of NYU’s College of Arts & Science.

Newly Appointed College of Arts & Science Dean Wendy Suzuki (image courtesy of Wendy Suzuki)

Wendy Suzuki, a professor of neural science and psychology at New York University, has been named Seryl Kushner Dean of NYU’s College of Arts & Science (CAS).

Suzuki, an internationally renowned expert in mental health and brain plasticity, or the ability of the brain to modify its connections in response to the environment, assumes her new leadership post on Sept. 1, 2022. 

Suzuki, who joined NYU’s faculty of Arts & Science in 1998, focuses on the effects of physical activity on the human brain and its potential to improve learning, memory, and higher cognitive abilities. Her books, including her most recent bestseller Good Anxiety: Harnessing the Power of the Most Misunderstood Emotion (Simon and Schuster, 2021) and Healthy Brain, Happy Life (HarperCollins, 2015), both with Billie Fitzpatrick, bring practical, science-informed strategies for emotional health to general audiences. 

A professor in NYU’s Center for Neural Science (CNS), where she is also the director of undergraduate studies, Suzuki won NYU’s Golden Dozen teaching award in 2010—the year she developed her signature undergraduate course, “Can Exercise Change Your Brain?”  

“Wendy evinces an exceptional excitement at interacting with students throughout their time at CAS,” says NYU President Andrew Hamilton. “Her vision for the deanship reflects her deep interest in the undergraduate experience and decades of neural science research.”

“Wendy calls her position as director of undergraduate studies at CNS the most fulfilling of her career thus far,” adds NYU Provost Katherine Fleming. “In this role she has prioritized a sense of belonging among students across the neuroscience major, while enhancing undergraduate research experiences through mentorship opportunities and increased volunteer lab positions.”

"Wendy comes to the deanship from the immense talent pool within Arts & Science,” says Antonio Merlo, Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Science. “Her vision, experience and partnership will be invaluable as we take the College of Arts & Science student experience to even greater heights.”

To advance the core mission of teaching and learning at CAS, Suzuki seeks to support and enhance the day-to-day academic experience of all students in the College. She sees the deanship as a powerful platform for disseminating information about the normal anxiety that is a part of the college experience and will look to implement programs and interventions tailored to the needs of CAS students. A third focus will be optimizing the sense of belonging and connection among the CAS community, including building on the University’s ongoing work in diversity, equity and inclusion. 

Suzuki is the recipient of a Troland Research Award from the National Academy of Sciences; a Fellow Award for Research Excellence from the National Institutes of Health; and the Donald B. Lindsley Prize in Behavioral Neuroscience from the Society for Neuroscience. In addition to authoring books for general audiences, she is extensively published in academic works and peer-reviewed journals. A frequent speaker and guest lecturer in academic settings, Suzuki also devotes time and energy to disseminating science to the public—in TED and TEDX Talks, storytelling for the Moth, and other venues. Her TED talk on the brain-changing benefits of exercise has been viewed over 55 million times. 

After graduating with a BA in physiology and anatomy from University of California, Berkeley, Suzuki earned her Ph.D. in neuroscience at University of California, San Diego. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institutes of Mental Health’s Laboratory of Neuropsychology. 

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