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Aimée Surprenant, Dean of the Graduate School

Dean Surprenant smiling at camera outside
Aimée Surprenant, dean of Virginia Tech’s Graduate School.

Aimée M. Surprenant serves as Dean for Graduate Education and holds an academic appointment as tenured Professor in the Department of Psychology at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. She plans to build on past successes in supporting a strong, diverse and inclusive graduate community; supporting the development and expansion of the innovative Graduate Life Center (GLC); and championing the academic initiative known as Transformative Graduate Education (TGE), including the global perspectives and preparing the future professoriate programs. 

As associate vice president and dean at Memorial University of Newfoundland in St. John’s, Canada, Dean Surprenant successfully led a program portfolio of more than 120 graduate diploma, master's, and doctoral degree programs for over 4,000 graduate students, and guided the university’s strategic graduate enrolment management planning and recruitment processes. She also was responsible for the leadership and growth of graduate student funding and partnered with Memorial’s Graduate Council to advance policies and curricula to promote continuing improvement of and innovation in graduate programs.

She is a respected academic in the field of psychology and research in the intersection of auditory perception and memory. She has co-authored two books, "Human Memory: An Introduction to Research, Data, and Theory" and "Principles of Memory," and authored, edited, and contributed to numerous book chapters, papers, publications, and other scholarly articles. She recently served on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Association for Graduate Studies and the Northeastern Association of Graduate Schools. She has also served as chair of the Scientific Affairs Committee for the Canadian Psychological Association and is active in Science Atlantic and the Canadian Society for Brain, Behaviour, and Cognitive Science.

During her tenure at Memorial University, Dr. Surprenant was honored with The Glenn Roy Blundon Award Leadership in Institutional Change (with School of Graduate Studies) for contributions to the ongoing development of equitable and accessible learning and living environments for students at Memorial. She also earned the Richard C. Tees Distinguished Leadership Award from the Canadian Society for Brain, Behaviour, and Cognitive Science, and the Dean of Science Distinguished Scholar Medal.

Dr. Surprenant holds a Ph.D., Master of Philosophy, and Master of Science degrees in psychology from Yale University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from New York University. She is a Fellow of the Canadian Society for Brain, Behaviour, and Cognitive Science for her distinguished, sustained, and exceptional contributions to the society and to the advancement of the field of brain, behavior, and cognitive science. She is also a Fellow of the Canadian Psychological Association and the Psychonomic Society.

You can reach Dean Surprenant at