Schools and departments at Columbia College

Our academic programs at Columbia College are housed under content-specific departments within three schools.


School of Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences

Study the way people communicate, interact, learn and understand the world.

School of Natural Sciences & Mathematics

Study human, environmental and information systems.

Robert W. Plaster School of Business

Gain a strong foundation in business practices and theories.

Meet your deans

Thumb portrait of of Dr. Jennifer Jewel, a Caucasian woman with short brunette wavy hair, in lime green jacket and black shirt, smiling at camera

Dr. Jennifer Jewell

Dean of the School of Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences

Dean Jewell earned her Ph.D. from the University of Louisville and her Master of Social Work from Spalding University, where she later taught before transitioning to Salisbury University. At Salisbury, she served as a Professor and the Director of the School of Social Work. In her leadership roles, Dean Jewell developed and launched distance education program options at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, spearheaded the creation of comprehensive mentoring initiatives for faculty and students, and expanded work on diversity and equity issues. These efforts earned her the Salisbury University Presidential Diversity Award. Dean Jewell maintains an active research agenda with a focus on anti-racist social work practice, inclusive pedagogy, and academic leadership, authoring numerous book chapters and juried papers. Committed to serving the community, Dean Jewell has been a public servant for over two decades, organizing around economic human rights and racial justice issues, providing mental health counseling, facilitating book discussions with individuals in prison, along with serving as Mayor for a year in her former town.

Thumb portrait of Dr. Vordtriede-Patton.

Dr. Sarah Vordtriede-Patton

Dean of the School of Natural Sciences & Mathematics

A widely published board certified entomologist, Dr. Vordtriede-Patton earned her Ph.D. from St. Louis University. She served as the medical entomologist for the U.S. Army Reserve as a Captain, and was nominated as Most Outstanding Advisor while serving as a lecturer at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Dr. Vordtriede-Patton advanced from professor to interim Dean at St. Ambrose University before coming to Columbia College.

Thumb portrait of Dr. Hamar.

Dr. Sandra Hamar

Interim Dean of the Robert W. Plaster School of Business

Dr. Sandra Hamar, Ed.D. is a life-long educator with a Doctorate in Higher Education; Organizational Leadership with an emphasis in Effective Schools from Grand Canyon University and a Masters of Arts in Teaching with an emphasis in Science Instruction from the University of Missouri, St. Louis. Since moving from the public-school arena to higher education in 2005, Dr. Hamar has taught a large part of her coursework within Professional Development School partnerships. She has also focused her research on teacher identity, humanity, and diversity. She put her “walk the walk” philosophy into practice by creating a study abroad opportunity for preservice teachers. Hamar studies the shift in preservice teachers’ identity and self-efficacy after their experience, noting the life changing impacts even a short-term study abroad experience can have on future educators.