Leaving a Legacy Forward

Cherie Fister, MFA, vice president for academic affairs at Maryville University, will retire effective at the end of the academic year. Fister held many leadership roles during critical times in Maryville’s growth and development as a university. Her leadership was futuristic, innovative, thoughtful, engaging and always mindful of achieving the best for students.

“Maryville’s strength has always been its people. I knew the day I started and I believe it as deeply today,” Fister said. “It is with great emotion that I announce my retirement. I thrive on a fresh start and I think Maryville is poised for multiple fresh starts. I know liberty from pandemic conditions will bring joy to campus and co-creating the strategic plan will bring new energy.”

Under Fister’s leadership, Maryville created a campus-wide Active Learning Ecosystem that puts students at the center of learning. Students actively participate in the learning process by doing, making and interacting with each other and the environment around them, anytime and anywhere.

Additionally, Fister’s passion for teaching, learning and creativity has helped faculty shape personalized approaches to learning for every student. This includes enabling new ways for students to access information, collaborate and demonstrate understanding through Maryville’s Digital World program. She credits Maryville’s intense commitment to learning technology, paired with the faculty investment in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, with paving the way for the Active Learning Ecosystem’s success.

Fister joined the Maryville faculty in 1995, first serving as director of the graphic design program she created. During her nearly 20-year tenure as program director, the Graphic and Interactive Design Programs received NASAD accreditation, gained national respect and created a network of professional designers who continue to support upcoming Maryville students.

In 2009, Fister was recognized as an AIGA Fellow by the national association for professional designers. The award recognizes professionals who have made a significant contribution to the field and to their local or regional design community.

Fister was named dean for the College of Arts and Sciences in 2015 after serving as interim dean and associate dean. In 2018, she moved into the role of vice president for academic affairs.

Jennifer Yukna, PhD, will move into the role of vice president for academic affairs following Fister’s retirement. Yukna has served as a faculty member, assistant dean and dean for the College of Arts and Sciences since her hiring in 2008.

Maryville University celebrated Fister during a special retirement party. Please enjoy a selection of photos from the event.

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