Temple University President Richard M. Englert announced today that Emilia Zankina will assume the position of dean of Temple University Rome, one of the largest and longest-standing study abroad programs in Italy, with a 53-year history.
“Temple Rome is one of this university’s crown jewels, and Emilia Zankina is the perfect person to ensure its robust future,” said the president. “I know everyone will welcome her leadership.”
Zankina is a multilingual political science educator and administrator with experience leading American educational programs in Europe.
“Emilia’s impressive track record leading an American university in Europe is coupled with her love of the arts, of culture and of academia,” said Temple University Executive Vice President and Provost JoAnne A. Epps. “Our students and faculty will recognize her as a kindred spirit, because she’s studied abroad herself and knows how life-changing that experience can be.”
Since 2016, Zankina has served as provost of the American University in Bulgaria, a residential American liberal arts institution accredited in the United States and in Bulgaria, with roughly 900 students from around the world. Previously, she served as associate director of the Center for Russian and East European Studies at the University of Pittsburgh.
“This role brings together everything that I love and have been committed to in my life—international education, research, and a dedication to the arts and liberal arts,” said Zankina, who spent some of her formative years in Italy and speaks English, Italian, Russian, Bulgarian and Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian fluently.
She is also excited about Temple’s commitment to an education that is accessible, affordable and diverse on both sides of the Atlantic.
“The atmosphere on Temple’s campuses in Rome and in Philadelphia is incredible—I’ve been impressed by everyone I’ve met,” Zankina said. “These are people who like each other, love their work, and enjoy working together. With such a team, I believe we can achieve anything.”
As provost at the American University in Bulgaria, Zankina oversaw all academic processes and units, including graduate and undergraduate programs, faculty, accreditation, enrollment and student services.
While there, she also served as an associate professor in political science for more than a decade, a department chair and a representative on the Board of Trustees.
At the University of Pittsburgh, Zankina earned her PhD in international affairs; dual bachelor’s degrees in political science and communication and rhetoric; and a certificate in advanced East European studies from the Center for Russian and East European Studies.
She also completed the Institute for Management and Leadership in Education program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
“We are confident that Emilia will continue the great leadership that Temple Rome has enjoyed under its former deans,” Epps said.
Zankina will succeed Acting Dean Fay Trachtenberg and former Dean Hilary Link, who stepped down in 2019 to become the president of Allegheny College.