Getting the Nod

By: Cindy Weiss, CLAS Today

When he played second base in varsity baseball at Gloucester (Mass.) High School, Skip Lowe’s team lost a critical game to Belmont High, where Wilbur Wood was pitching. Wood was signed by the Red Sox right out of high school. Many years later, while pitching for the Chicago White Sox, he was hit by a ball that shattered his left kneecap.

When Lowe was a senior, the Gloucester High team lost the state championship 11-9 to St. Mary’s of Lynn, Mass. Tony Conigliaro played for St. Mary’s, and he was signed by the Red Sox at age 17. Five years later, he was hit in the cheekbone by a pitch, severely injuring his left retina.

Both Wood and Conigliaro came back from their injuries. Lowe, meanwhile, went on to Bowdoin College for a BA (where he played center field); then to the University of New Hampshire for a master’s degree in clinical psychology (driving down to the North Shore of Massachusetts twice a week to play nearly every position in the North Shore Summer League); and later to Carnegie Institute of Technology for a master’s in organizational psychology (and playing semi-pro softball). Then he earned a Ph.D. in social psychology from Carnegie-Mellon.

But along the way he had adopted the lessons of baseball with its wins, losses, triumphs, and disappointments: Try hard. Stick with it. Call it as you see it. Motivate your team.

Last summer, Charles A. Lowe, as he is more formally known, stepped down from being department head in psychology after 13 years (and professor for 41 years, both jobs he loved) and took on a new challenge with a long title: Interim Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Dean of the Graduate School.

A challenge because there have been nine deans of the Graduate School in 18 years. Committees looking into whether to decentralize or centralize the school have come and gone. And the Graduate School staff has shrunk from 30 to 11 over the past decade.

The prospects excite Lowe.

“I said yes to the provost’s invitation to become dean of the Graduate School because I really and truly cared about graduate education,” he says. “This is now where UConn needs to go.”

Read more at UConn Today.

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