Saint Mary's Names Megan Mustain Inaugural Core Curriculum Dean

Saint Mary's College announces the appointment of Megan Mustain PhD as the inaugural dean of Saint Mary’s Core Curriculum. The Core Curriculum is the foundation of student learning at Saint Mary’s, designed to educate students in three broad intellectual areas: Habits of Mind, Pathways to Knowledge, and Engaging the World, and to develop skills in critical thinking, shared inquiry, oral and written communication, and information evaluation and research practices. The Core Curriculum includes Saint Mary’s signature programs, Collegiate Seminar and January Term. Mustain’s appointment begins July 1, 2017.

Megan Mustain, Dean of the Core CurriculumOver the past 12 years, Mustain, an associate professor in philosophy and a respected educator, established an extensive and progressive record as an academic leader and scholar at St. Mary's University. A Catholic Marianist institution of higher education based in San Antonio, Texas. St. Mary's University serves nearly 2,400 undergraduate and 1,500 graduate students.

“We are very proud to have Dr. Megan Mustain join Saint Mary’s,” said Provost Bethami Dobkin. “She is a talented scholar and administrator who possesses a profound commitment to liberal arts education and the Catholic intellectual tradition. Her experience in faculty advising, student mentoring, academic assessment, course design, support of faculty concerns through shared governance, and advocacy of inclusive excellence in higher education all position her to be an ideal Dean of the Core for the College.”

Selected after an extensive and competitive national search, Mustain received overwhelming support from a search committee made up of representatives from Saint Mary’s Christian Brothers community, staff, and faculty in the College’s Kalmanovitz School of Education, School of Economics and Business Administration, School of Liberal Arts, and School of Science.

Mustain said she is honored to join the Saint Mary's community and humbled by the opportunity to lead the College’s core curriculum. “Together, the core programs are the heart of the Saint Mary's undergraduate experience. With a world-class faculty and academic offerings that are animated by the College’s commitment to inclusive Catholic, Lasallian, liberal arts traditions, Saint Mary's offers what our world most desperately needs. I am thrilled and eager to roll up my sleeves to collaborate in the transformative educational work underway at the College.”

Most recently, Mustain served as the interim dean of graduate studies in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, where, among her other duties, she was responsible for leading the university’s largest and most diverse graduate studies unit, with 12 master’s programs, two doctoral programs, three graduate certificate programs, joint JD/MA and BA/MA programs and three separate graduate academic departments. Additionally, Mustain served as the founding director of the St. Mary's University’s core curriculum, where she provided academic leadership for the institution’s liberal arts curriculum, which is the cornerstone of undergraduate education at the university. 

A distinguished educator, Mustain also served as the chair of the Department of Philosophy at StMU. She was a recipient of a St. Mary’s University Distinguished Faculty Award and the President’s Award for Excellence. Additionally, as a co-principal investigator, she was awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities grant to create and teach a course on the meaning of human dignity. Her academic research centers on classical American philosophy, especially the work of William James. Her book Overcoming Cynicism: William James and the Metaphysics of Engagement was published in 2011 by Bloomsbury/Continuum. Mustain earned both her doctorate and master of arts in philosophy from Southern Illinois University, and a bachelor of science degree in genetics from Texas A&M University.


About SMC
The Saint Mary's College of California experience inspires learning that lasts a lifetime. For more than 150 years, the College has provided students with a rigorous education that engages their intellect and spirit, and awakens a desire to transform society. Guided by the Christian Brothers, the Catholic Church's oldest order dedicated exclusively to teaching, the College enrolls more than 4,000 students in undergraduate and graduate liberal arts and business programs. For more information visit Saint Mary's College at and just 23 miles east of San Francisco.