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ESF Appoints Dr. Zora Thomova Associate Provost for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Graduate School

Syracuse, NY – June 20, 2024 - The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) named Dr. Zora Thomova Associate Provost for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Graduate School, effective June 3. 

A professor of mathematics, Dr. Thomova has held several leadership positions at SUNY Polytechnic Institute, including interim provost, director of Global Programs, and interim dean for the College of Arts and Sciences. She also served as the general education coordinator and co-chaired the SUNY Poly Governance Council. 

“Dr. Thomova brings a wealth of academic and administrative experience to ESF,” said Dr. Samuel Mukasa, executive vice president and provost at ESF. “She has a deep understanding of the issues higher education is facing today and is committed to recruiting a diverse student body. Coming to ESF from SUNY Polytechnic Institute, she is well-versed in the functioning of the state system.” 

In her most recent role as interim provost, Thomova established two new programs for faculty onboarding and success; was integral to the institution’s re-accreditation process; prepared SUNY Poly for the launch of micro-credentials; and served as a liaison for faculty governance. She also focused on student success and retention, updated the academic alert system, developed a data-driven approach to track first-year student success, and proposed changes in advising. 

As the Associate Provost for Academic Affairs at ESF, Thomova will manage several key departments, including Academic Administration, the Registrar's Office, International Education, Institutional Research and Assessment, and the Honors Program. 

In her role as Dean of the Graduate School, Thomova will lead the Graduate School's administration. Her duties will involve guiding the strategic direction of the school, overseeing graduate student recruitment and admissions, and ensuring the quality of graduate programs. 

“I am delighted to join ESF, an institution with a distinctive and timely mission, not only within the SUNY System but also on both national and global scales,” said Thomova. “ESF is well positioned for program expansion, and I am excited to collaborate with my colleagues who are committed to enhancing graduate education and ensuring the success of graduate students.”

Thomova is an active member of her local community, serving on the board of the YWCA of Mohawk Valley and having been a board member of the Mohawk Valley FCU for over 15 years. She enjoys traveling and outdoor activities. Thomova holds a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Montreal, Canada, and a Master of Science in solid-state physics from the Czech Technical University, Prague, Czech Republic. 


The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) is dedicated to the study of the environment, developing renewable technologies, and building a sustainable and resilient future through design, policy, and management of the environment and natural resources. Members of the College community share a passion for protecting the health of the planet and a deep commitment to the rigorous application of science to improve the way humans interact with the world. The College offers academic programs ranging from the associate of applied science to the Doctor of Philosophy. ESF students live, study and do research on the main campus in Syracuse, N.Y., and on 25,000 acres of field stations in a variety of ecosystems across the state.