Lehman College Welcomes Davina Porock, Stefan Becker As Vice Provosts

Dr. Davina Porock

This Fall, Lehman College welcomes two new vice provosts:  Dr. Davina Porock, a registered nurse with over 30 years experience and an expert on end-of-life care, is the new Vice Provost for Academic Personnel and Dr. Stefan Becker of the Department of Earth, Environmental, and Geospatial Sciencesis the Vice Provost for Academic Programs.

Dr. Porock’s most recent appointment was at the University of Buffalo where she was professor and associate dean for research and scholarship, and director of the Center for Nursing Research.

In her new role at Lehman she will oversee several aspects of faculty development to support the scholarship of teaching and learning, and develop a community of scholars. This includes assisting deans, chairs, and faculty in recruitment and retention, development of tenure and promotion portfolios, and advancing the honorific recognition of our faculty.

Dr. Porock’s own research centers on end-of-life care for older adults. She is specifically interested in understanding the dying process and in helping to determine how and when to transition to palliative and end-of-life care.

“Whether I’m working with patients or in an administrative capacity, I am always using my skills as a nurse to try to understand people and to create an environment where they feel supported and can thrive,” explains Dr. Porock. “I am looking forward to the opportunity to work with Lehman’s diverse student population and faculty.”

Born in England, she moved to Australia at age 15. She earned her BAppSci and MSci degrees in nursing from Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Western Australia and her PhD in nursing from Edith Cowan University in Perth.

Dr. Porock is the author of over 80 peer-reviewed articles with more than 50 on the subject of death and dying, and has received millions of dollars in grants to support her research. Dr. Porock is a member of the editorial board of the journal Research on Aging, and serves as a reviewer for ten scientific journals, including the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management and the International Journal of Clinical Nursing.

She is a member of the Dementia Action Alliance, Eastern Nursing Research Society, International Philosophy of Nursing Society, Gerontology Society of America, and the American Nursing Association. In October, Dr. Porock will be inducted as a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing.

In his role as Vice Provost for Academic Programs, Dr. Stefan Becker will continue to participate in advancing larger, strategic initiatives for the College, provide leadership and support for departments and schools in preparation and submission of courses and curricula, develop educational opportunities, and provide institutional oversight in the planning, development, and implementation of review and accreditation of self-studies.

Professor Stefan Becker

Professor Stefan Becker

Dr. Becker began his career as a lecturer and researcher at Justus-Liebig-University in Giessen, Germany, where he also received his doctorate and habilitation in geography. Prior to joining Lehman in 2010, he worked at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh for six years and at various institutions in Germany, South Africa, and Israel.

As a physical geographer, Dr. Becker is interested in the natural environment and how it is altered by human activity. He is particularly interested in regional impacts of climate change. His work has frequently taken him to Tibet and the Yangzte River basin in China where he studied changes in rainfall patterns and their impact on flood events. He has also studied the distribution of air pollution from coal-fired power stations and their impact on humans in South Africa, heat-stress in Israel, and hurricanes tracks in the Atlantic Ocean.

He has authored some 40 papers and is frequently invited to present his research at conferences around the world. In addition, he has served as a reviewer for numerous publications in atmospheric and hydrologic science journals.

“Ever since joining academia, it has been one of my most rewarding experiences to help students realize their goals and succeed in their lives,” explains Dr. Becker. “During the last years, I have been able to build excellent work relationships with faculty, staff, and administrators at Lehman and within CUNY that will facilitate our ability to collaboratively and successfully pursue important initiatives. I am truly excited about what we will accomplish together in the next years.”