Headshot of Penn State Associate Professor and Assistant Director of Music Darrin Thornton

Thornton appointed interim associate dean for academic affairs and outreach

Darrin Thornton, teaching professor of music and assistant director for undergraduate studies and advising in the Penn State School of Music, has been appointed interim associate dean for academic affairs and outreach for a two-year term, effective July 1. Scott Wing, who has been in the associate dean position for five years, will step down on June 30 and return to the Department of Architecture faculty.

B. Stephen Carpenter II, dean of the College of Arts and Architecture, said he is pleased Thornton has accepted his invitation to serve as interim associate dean of academic affairs and outreach. “I have confidence in Darrin’s knowledge and scholarship in music education and arts pedagogy, and the ways they will inform his efforts to support the academic work of the college. Not to be overlooked, his presence will add representation from the performing arts to the college leadership team,” said Carpenter. “Darrin will follow the important leadership Scott Wing has provided the college over the past five years in areas of advising, student engagement, curriculum development, scholarships and awards, recruitment, and other academic initiatives.”

Thornton, a School of Music faculty member since 2010, teaches music education foundations, secondary instrumental methods and techniques courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels. He formerly served as an assistant director for the Penn State Marching Blue Band. His research interests include teacher preparation and continued professional development, educational access and outreach, learning in ensemble settings and lifelong music engagement. 

“I’m thrilled for the opportunity to work closely with colleagues in the office along with students, staff, faculty and administrators throughout the College of Arts and Architecture to support student success at this moment in time,” said Thornton.

Prior to joining the School of Music faculty, Thornton taught band/instrumental music at the elementary, middle and high school levels in the state of New York, and held administrative positions and taught at the University of Missouri and SUNY-Fredonia. He holds an undergraduate degree from Northwestern University, master’s degrees from National Louis University and the University of Missouri, and a doctorate from Penn State.

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