Dean of Christ College — The Honors College

Susan VanZanten, Ph.D., joined Valpo’s faculty July 1, 2018, and is responsible for the strategic leadership, coordination, and guidance of Christ College. Dean VanZanten works closely with faculty to propel the college into the future, remaining dedicated to the cultivation of intellectual, moral, and spiritual virtues and fulfilling the University’s mission of preparing students to lead and serve in both church and society.

Previously, Dean VanZanten served at Seattle Pacific University, most recently as professor of English and interim co-chair of the languages, cultures, and linguistics department. During her tenure at Seattle Pacific University, she held several leadership positions, including director for the Center for Scholarship and Faculty Development, director of the University Scholars Program, as well as co-director for SERVE (Spiritual and Educational Resources for Vocational Exploration).

Dean VanZanten’s expertise lies in African literature, American literature, and literary criticism. She is a frequent speaker and writer on both African and American literature, as well as faculty development and Christian higher education, and has published numerous articles, essays, and books in both peer-reviewed journals and for the general reader. Dean VanZanten currently serves as a senior mentor in the Lilly Graduate Fellows program. Her professional memberships include Phi Beta Kappa, Emily Dickinson International Society, Modern Language Association, and the Conference on Christianity and Literature.


Ph.D. — Emory University
M.A. — Emory University
B.A. — Westmont College