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Benedict College Announces New Dean of the School of Science and Engineering

Dr. Robert N. Garner is an accomplished researcher, educator, and academic leader.

Columbia, SC- June 30, 2022, Benedict College proudly welcomes Dr. Robert N. Garner as the Dean of the School of Science and Engineering. Dr. Garner comes to Benedict from the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas. At UIW, Dr. Garner served as Chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He is credited for leading his department in acquiring certification from the American Chemical Society and accreditation from the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

“We welcome Dr. Garner to the Benedict Family. I am confident that his extensive academic experience and collaborative leadership style will further amplify the excellence within the Science and Engineering program,” said Dr. Roslyn Clark Artis, President and CEO.

Dr. Garner’s support for students led to his work as a co-PI on an NSF S-STEM grant that provided scholarships and professional development for academically gifted students with financial need. His primary research is in inorganic photochemistry, an area in which he’s published research articles on the fundamental science and biomedical application of ruthenium complexes.

“Dr. Garner brings to Benedict a student-centered approach to teaching, research, and service that will support the high-impact practices that are needed for transformational learning experiences,” said, Dr. Janeen P. Witty, Benedict College Vice President for Academic Affairs.

In addition to his work in the sciences, Dr. Garner is an advocate of Honors programming and served as his previous institution’s Honors Council Chair, working across disciplines to restructure, strengthen, and add curricular opportunities for Honors students. A native of Starkville, Mississippi, Dr. Garner received his bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Jackson State University and a doctorate in Chemistry from The Ohio State University.


About Benedict College

Founded in 1870 by a woman, Bathsheba A. Benedict, Benedict College is a private co-educational liberal arts institution, offering 26 competitive baccalaureate degree programs. The Midlands HBCU welcomes students from all 46 counties in South Carolina, 30 states across America, and 26 countries around the world. 

Benedict offers several high-demand fields of study in STEM, Cyber Security, Mass Communication, Sport Management, Business Administration, Engineering, Computer Science, Biology, and Education. The College also has a diverse faculty and importantly, 80 percent of courses are taught by full-time faculty. 

There are over 18,000 proud Benedict Tigers throughout the nation. Benedict College has been a community leader for over 150-years and is a significant contributor to South Carolina and the region. Contributing $130 million and 1,218 jobs in total local and annual economic impact, a Benedict graduate working full-time throughout his or her working life can expect to earn $1.1 million in additional income because of their Benedict College degree. 

The College made front-page news in the spring of 2018 when it became the first South Carolina college to lower its tuition by 26 percent. Cutting tuition drew praise from the Commission on Higher Education, South Carolina’s education oversight body. The commissioner noted that the move Benedict College made should be applauded because it offers families affordability and students greater access to higher education. 

Benedict College has been highly regarded and exceptionally ranked for its programs by several academic and traditional publications.  For example, Benedict College was ranked as one of the top baccalaureate colleges in the nation by Washington Monthly magazine for creating social mobility and producing cutting-edge scholarship and research.  In 2019, Benedict College received the 2019 ACE/ Fidelity Investments Awards for Institutional Transformation and was named the HBCU of the Year by HBCU Digest

Benedict College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate and master’s degrees. Five of the College’s degree programs hold national accreditation: The School of Education, Social Work Program, Environmental Health Science Program, Studio Art Program, and the Tyrone Adam Burroughs School of Business and Entrepreneurship. 

About Experience Columbia SC 

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