Three named Milwaukee’s most notable leaders in education

Mount Mary’s vice president for academic affairs and two deans are among the city’s 23 most notable leaders in higher education, according to the Milwaukee Biz Times.

Vice President for Academic Affairs Karen Friedlen, Ph.D., Dean Cheryl Bailey, Ph.D., of the School of Natural & Health Sciences and Education, and Dean Bob Schwartz of the School of Art & Design and Business, were recognized in the Jan. 23 edition of the magazine.

Awardees were selected based upon demonstrated excellence in their field of study or expertise and the ability to effect change within the organization, industry or community (and beyond). In addition, they have assumed a leadership position outside of their own organization including professional organizations and civic/community service initiatives.


About Karen Friedlen: As the Vice President for Academic Affairs, Friedlen leads an office responsible for oversight of Mount Mary University’s four academic schools, the Haggerty Library, Registrar’s Office and Burke Foundation-funded Grace and Caroline Scholars programs. After teaching psychology for 20 years at Mount Mary, Friedlen has been in her current role for 10 years. Most recent developments include food science, nursing, exercise science, counselor education and user experience (UX) design.

Friedlen’s involvement in the Higher Education Regional Alliance (HERA), a collaboration between 18 public and private universities and technical colleges in southeastern Wisconsin and a network of private industries and foundations, ensures Mount Mary is responsive to the future needs of the region’s industries, and creates strategies that reduce success barriers for all students.


About Cheryl Bailey: Since 2014, Cheryl has served as the dean of the School of Natural &Health Sciences and Education. Cheryl joined Mount Mary with experience as a program officer at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Maryland, associate professor at the University of Nebraska Lincoln, and senior scientist at Promega Corporation in Wisconsin. Cheryl also serves as the chair of the Education and Professional Development Committee for the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and recently co-facilitated an international meeting for educators titled, “Teaching Science with Big Data.”

Bailey also led the development of several significant federal grants involving curriculum innovation, student support services and University infrastructure, serving in many roles such as grant writer, principal investigator and project manager. These efforts have secured over $17 million in federal and foundation grant awards since 2018.


About Bob Schwartz: Formerly the vice president for global design and user experience at GE Healthcare, Schwartz has held executive leadership roles at P&G, Levolor Kirsch, Motorola, IDSA and AdvaMed. In 2015, the Industrial Designers Society of America named Bob among the 50 most notable industrial designers of the last 50 years. He also won a Design Management Institute lifetime achievement award in 2019.

With Mount Mary’s recent program launch in User Interface Design (UX), Schwartz has drawn upon his experience in leading the global design function at GE Healthcare to structure a program that attracts and empowers diverse women to gain full inclusion in the digital STEM workforce. Schwartz also currently serves on the board of the Penfield Montessori Academy in Milwaukee.

“These incredible leaders have dedicated their considerable abilities to providing opportunities and removing barriers so students can pursue their professional, personal and community lives,” said Mount Mary President Isabelle Cherney, Ph.D.