Literary scholar and Ahwatukee Foothills resident Dr. Neal A. Lester has been appointed dean of humanities in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University. He assumes the leadership role held since 2004 by Deborah Losse, a scholar in French literature who will be retiring from the university.

Lester, whose teaching and scholarship focus on African American literary and cultural studies, including children's literature, drama, folklore and popular culture, has been a professor of English at ASU since 1997, serving as chair of the department since 2004. This past February, Lester was elected to a two-year term as chair of the Arizona Humanities Council board of directors.

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