MCKEESPORT, Pa. — Megan Nagel has been named chancellor and chief academic officer of Penn State Greater Allegheny, effective Jan. 1, 2024. Nagel has served in the role in an interim capacity since June 2022 when then-Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer Jacqueline Edmondson left to assume the presidency at the University of Southern Maine.
“I am pleased Megan will serve the Greater Allegheny campus in a permanent capacity,” said Margo DelliCarpini, vice president for Commonwealth Campuses and executive chancellor. “She has a deep appreciation for the role our campuses play in fulfilling Penn State’s land-grant mission. While serving in the interim role, she established collaborative relationships with regional leaders and businesses. Her experiences as a faculty member and researcher, along with her demonstrated commitment to student success, will help Penn State Greater Allegheny continue to serve as an access point for a diverse student body.”
Nagel joined Penn State Greater Allegheny in 2010 as an assistant professor of chemistry. She received the George W. Atherton Award for Teaching Excellence in 2016 and earned tenure and was promoted to associate professor of chemistry in 2018. She continues an active research agenda, including work on a National Science Foundation (NSF) Division of Undergraduate Education grant to understand and improve reasoning in chemistry and physics.
In July 2020, Nagel was named the campus’ associate chief academic officer, supporting local faculty on the tenure track. In that role, she also managed the campus advising office, participated on the campus’ 2020-2025 Strategic Planning Steering Committee, and co-led the campus Digital Fluency initiative, for which the campus was named an Apple Distinguished School through 2025. Nagel also served on the University College’s Pathway to Success: Summer Start program leadership team and the Academic Integrity Policy and Procedures Review Committee.
As the interim chancellor and chief academic officer, Nagel emphasized the importance of career readiness and student success, engaging faculty and staff in two targeted initiatives.
With funding from the Office of the Vice President for Commonwealth Campuses, she launched CREATE (Career Readiness, Entrepreneurial Activities and Transformative Experiences) for Tomorrow that embeds career competencies into courses offered at the campus. Several faculty members are incorporating one or more of the eight career competencies identified by the National Association of Colleges and Employers into their courses. As students complete those courses, they will have a portfolio to demonstrate knowledge of and experience with the core skills employers value.
A newly formed student success team has defined what it means for Greater Allegheny students to experience a sense of belonging on the campus and progress to and through critical university transition points. The team has designed a campus report card using a range of data to measure progress and inform future programming.
Beyond the campus, Nagel has engaged local corporations, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies to build collaborative relationships, address community needs, and improve the economic conditions in nearby communities.
Currently, Nagel is working with the city of McKeesport, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and a broad coalition of community groups to develop a city-wide strategy to address chronic diseases, food security and access to health care as part of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “Closing the Gap with Social Determinants of Health Accelerator Plans” grant.
“It was an honor to serve as the interim chancellor and chief academic officer, and I feel very fortunate to be given the opportunity of the permanent role,” said Nagel. “Penn State Greater Allegheny is a special campus. We value the relationships we build with our students and are fully committed to creating an environment where we develop scholars and citizens who will join the vast Penn State alumni network. I recognize the value of Penn State’s presence in southwestern Pennsylvania. I look forward to exploring new and innovative ways the campus can fulfill its land-grant mission, while continuing to offer a world-class Penn State education in the Mon Valley.”
Nagel earned a bachelor of science degree in chemistry from Slippery Rock University and her doctorate in chemistry from Penn State in 2006.