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Former WKU dean takes on new role at Pennsylvania university

Published: Mar. 8, 2021 at 8:34 PM CST
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - John Bonaguro has served in several important roles pertaining to education throughout his career. He was a founding dean of WKU’s College of Health and Human Services, retiring from that position in 2017.

“We’ve been traveling typically around six months out of the year, but then COVID hit when we got back last February of 2020,” Bonaguro explained.

Amid the pandemic, Bonaguro decided to temporarily go back to work as he was contacted by Slippery Rock University in Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania.

He was recently hired as the founding dean of Slippery Rock’s College of Health Professions, effective March 1. Bonaguro will help get the college up and running until the summer of 2022.

“What’s nice about it, you can establish your own traditions and people are are excited about joining. You can get to know everyone and try to be very collaborative and inclusive,” Bonaguro explained.

Used to having a more active lifestyle, COVID-19 slowed things down. This is one of the reasons Bonaguro decided to take on the role. “I think this a nice short term challenge,” he said.

Besides forming the college itself, Bonaguro plans to help go through the processes of getting the new program recognized and setting the new department heads up for success.

“The goal is to, you know, develop some collaboration, also work in the community work with the healthcare industry there,” he said. “Look at where those needs for the health professions are, and how can we collaborate together on programs much like we did here with the Medical Center.”

Bonaguro emphasized how much he enjoyed his time working at WKU, and plans to take some of the things he learned from his experience there to the new university.

“I think this is going be this a really nice little venture in working with Slippery Rock University to advance what they have, and then hopefully leave the place a little bit better than when we went there.”

Bonaguro will serve in an interim capacity as Slippery Rock University establishes its fifth college starting in the fall 2022 semester.

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