Meet the Dean: Robert Morris University Meet the Dean | Robert Morris University

Dean Maria V. Kalevitch, Ph.D.

People would be surprised to know that: " I have a Great Dane and a Rottweiler, all rescued. I walk five miles every morning and enjoy my tricycle too"

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Maria V. Kalevitch, PHD

University Professor of Biology and Dean, SEMS

Founding Chair of Science Department, 2004-2008


Hometown: Moscow, Russia

Hobbies: Collecting art and enjoying nature

Favorite author: Mark Twain, for his pioneer spirit

Research specialty: Manufactured soils and plant pathology

Latest Honors: Selected by INSIGHT into Diversity Magazine as a national recipient of? 2015 Inspiring Women in Stem Award

2015-2016 Member of Leadership Pittsburgh, Inc., cohort XXXII and Executive Coaching Team


My grandmother was a smart lady. She was a biochemist in the Russian Academy of Sciences and one of the first women to get a Ph.D. As the third generation in my family to be a scientist, I’m proud of the way RMU encourages women as well as men to study for careers in science, engineering, and mathematics. Those subjects, after all, are the underpinnings of civilized society.


Not too many universities can lay claim to having so many disparate disciplines in one school. Over the past several years, you might notice we have used the word “interdisciplinary” more than once. It is indeed one of our strategic goals to build upon the unity of the SEMS, (School of Engineering, Mathematics & Science), and utilize the expertise and resources that we possess in all three departments. We are not only reaching across the departments within SEMS but also collaborating with other schools at the University and beyond.


SEMS-Research has shown a strong performance in the past few years. Research Conversations meetings were organized to promote interdisciplinary project development and to explore common areas for faculty and student research. Research Highlights newsletters were published to showcase the cutting-edge research taking place in RMU SEMS.


In 2015, faculty and students published 69 articles in peer-reviewed journals, and presented at national and local conferences. The interdisciplinary collaboration really sparks creativity. That’s how we created our energy and sustainability curriculum, forensics minor, biomedical engineering concentration - the pre-med faculty and the mechanical engineering faculty put their heads together and designed them.


Since 2010, our SEMS-Research and Outreach Center has served as community outreach to promote K-12 STEM education and elevate our research agenda within the school. The future holds great potential for SEMS Outreach as we look to expand our offerings, partner with more local organizations and schools, and continue to provide new and innovative ways to engage students and the community at large in STEM education.


In the 14 years I've been at RMU I’ve always been impressed with the quality of our programs, our students and by our growth (student numbers have quadrupled in the school for the past five years). Ongoing appreciation is extended to faculty, staff and administrators who are world-class educators working tirelessly for the betterment of SEMS.


When my daughter was looking for a college I recommended Robert Morris University. I’m glad she listened to me. (Even though she was an English major instead of a scientist!). I also have a son who is a veteran and has seven years of service in the National Guard. He has degree in business management and owns his own business. I am MiMi to two adorable grandkids, Olivia and Maximus, and my husband and I are residents of Moon Township.