Director of Athletics, Chief of Staff and Provost and Dean of the Faculty

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I am pleased to announce the hiring of three new leaders to the Norwich University community.

Effective yesterday, Edward W. Hockenbury, Associate Athletic Director for Internal Operations at the University of Vermont (UVM) in Burlington has accepted our offer to become Norwich University’s Director of Athletics.  He will assume his new leadership position effective January 3rd, 2022 and will work side-by-side with Tony Mariano throughout the Spring 2022, while also fulfilling transition responsibilities at UVM.  Mariano announced his plans to retire at the conclusion of this academic year in May 2021.  Under Mariano’s remarkable leadership and tireless support to the Norwich Athletic Department spanning a 30-year career, our coaches, staff, and student-athletes attained unprecedented levels of success.

Hockenbury has over thirty years of leadership and administrative experience in athletic administration and sport supervision at both the high school and college levels in addition to a proven track record in equipment operations supervision, facilities management, event operations, construction project planning and management, gender equity and diversity initiatives, alumni engagement, and coaching student athletes. 

He is the son of long-time Norwich men’s head basketball coach Edward Hockenbury and has established roots in the Norwich and Northfield communities.

As Director of Athletics and member of the Cabinet, Hockenbury will oversee the university’s 20 NCAA Division III men’s and women’s varsity athletic teams and coaching staff, athletic training, equipment operations, strength and conditioning, and all NCAA compliance to ensure national level academic and athletic excellence, value affirming traditions, and the leadership development of all student-athletes

To learn more about Ed’s appointment, visit: or view:


Danielle Pelczarski Named Senior Vice President and Chief of Staff

I am pleased to announce that Danielle Pelczarski, Deputy Commandant of Cadets at California State University Maritime Academy in Vallejo, CA, has accepted the leadership position of Senior Vice President and Chief of Staff Norwich University effective March 14th, 2022. She will replace Dave Whaley, who helped establish this critical Chief of Staff position over 18 months ago while simultaneously serving as secretary to the Board of Trustees and senior philanthropic advisor to the development office.  Whaley will continue in these full-time positions upon Pelczarski’s arrival.

Ms. Pelczarski has collected a broad range of experiences and possesses exceptional leadership abilities, an innovative spirit, and proven values aligned with Norwich University’s brand and hallmark as a world-class educational institution. She brings 30 years of military experience as a Navy Expeditionary Supply Corps Officer from the United States Navy Reserve. As a former Captain in the United States Navy Reserve, her experience encompasses supply chain management, base operating support, expeditionary logistics, fuels management, disbursement, and inventory control. Most recently in the private sector, she was the Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer for LOCALMOTV, Incorporated, a small e-commerce start-up specifically designed to connect locally minded shoppers with local independent merchants.

In the private sector, Ms. Pelczarski has held c-level positions for small, medium, and large companies where she collaborated to drive process improvement and key performance indicators, interpret trends, assess financial impact, lead process mapping and improvement, manage sizeable budgets, and champion high functioning professional teams domestically and internationally.

In addition, she has three decades of corporate executive level experience in brand management and corporate communications leveraging brands such as British Petroleum, Pepsi, Frito Lay, Gatorade, Delta Airlines, Nike, Speedo, Coors, Apple, Microsoft, FedEx, and others. We will fully leverage her skills and experiences in enrollment management, marketing, and communications by having Vice President of Enrollment Management, Greg Matthews, and Vice President of Marketing and Communications, Kathy Murphy-Moriarty, report directly to her as Chief of Staff. 

The Vice Presidents of Administration and Finance, Development and Alumni Relations, Information Technology, Diversity Equity and Inclusion, Strategic Partnerships, and Director of Athletics will continue to be direct reports to the President, along with the Provost and Commandant/VP of Student Affairs.

To learn more about Danielle’s appointment, please visit or view:


Dr. Karen Gaines Named Provost and Dean of the Faculty

I am delighted to announce that Dr. Karen Gaines, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) who also holds an academic appointment as Professor of Physiology, has accepted our offer to become Norwich University’s Provost and Dean of the Faculty.  She will assume her new position at the end of the Spring semester, 2022.

Dr. Gaines has over twenty-five years of leadership and administrative experience in higher education, public health, and environmental science, and joined ERAU in 2016.  ERAU is a private university known for engineering, aviation, space, security, and intelligence, as well as the applied sciences with its largest residential campus in Daytona Beach, Florida.  ERAU has numerous internationally recognized research centers- including CyBASE: Cybersecurity & Assured Systems Engineering, and CSAR: Center for Space and Atmospheric Research- and consistently ranks in the top 10 for Aerospace Engineering and “best for Veterans.”

In her position as Dean, she shaped the vision and leadership agenda congruent to the College’s strategic plan and STEM-focused math, science, technical writing, and liberal arts courses across five departments to not only provide the programmatic curriculum but to assure that all graduates have the critical thinking skills necessary to be thoughtful global citizens. She was also entrusted with the responsibility of oversight of one of the nation’s largest ROTC cadres in the nation of Air Force / Space Force, Army, and Navy / Marines, providing pedagogical training while facilitating each distinct cadet command curriculum. With support of her collaborative leadership, Dr. Gaines oversighted new undergraduate and graduate program development for revenue generation; academic program review, assessment and accreditation; academic advancement; diversity, equity and inclusion; research; philanthropy; budgeting; and partnership cultivation with governmental and non-governmental agencies.

Dr. Gaines began her career working on issues related to radionuclide contamination on the Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site leading to a career focused on service. A distinguished scholar, prolific researcher, and proven academic administrator, Dr. Gaines holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Toxicology from the University of South Carolina’s Norman J. Arnold School of Public Health. She also holds a post graduate certificate in Global Health Delivery from Harvard’s School of Public Health. She has authored or co-authored over 50 peer-reviewed, scientific publications and has been an invited speaker at international and national conferences relating to environmental radiation exposure and risk assessment. 

As Provost and Dean of the Faculty at Norwich University, Dr. Gaines will oversee the Office of Academic Affairs, the dean of each of Norwich’s five colleges (College of Professional Schools, College of Science and Mathematics, College of Liberal Arts, College of National Services, and the College of Graduate and Continuing Studies), faculty, staff, finance, and administration to facilitate Norwich University’s global scholarship, engagement, relevance, and strategic initiatives.

To learn more about Dr. Gaines’ appointment, please visit: or view