UPIKE names new dean of College of Arts and Sciences

The University of Pikeville (UPIKE) is pleased to announce that Ella Smith-Justice, Ph.D., has been named the new dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS). Her education, extensive experience and dedication to UPIKE make Smith-Justice the ideal person to continue leading CAS. 

She earned her doctorate and master’s degrees from The Ohio State University and her undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia’s College at Wise. She held many leadership and teaching positions during her 18 years at UPIKE before transitioning into her role as the assistant dean of CAS in 2020, and then interim dean last semester.

“I am truly honored to be named the next dean of the UPIKE College of Arts & Sciences. The mission of UPIKE as a university resonates strongly with me. I grew up in Central Appalachia and believe firmly in the positive impact of post-secondary education for the region and its people,” expressed Smith-Justice. “My parents instilled in my sister and me the value of working hard to learn and to grow, and they worked hard to make sure that we had every opportunity to do so. In this role, I proudly carry on their mission – and that of the university – by supporting UPIKE students in their journeys to learn, grow, and persist. I get to work with an amazing team of energetic faculty and staff, and I am thrilled to continue partnering with them to deepen the reach of the College of Arts & Sciences throughout our community, region and world.” 

The new dean resides in Pikeville with her husband, Josh Justice, Director of Student Affairs and Academic Excellence for the Kentucky College of Optometry, and their five-year-old son, James Vincent.