PROVO — Dean David B. Magleby of the Brigham Young University College of Family, Home and Social Sciences has announced the appointment of Susan Sessions Rugh, BYU associate professor of American history, to a three-year term as the new associate dean for the college.

Rugh will replace Elaine Walton, who will be taking a professional development leave of absence to BYU-Hawaii during the upcoming academic year.

"The college has greatly benefitted from Elaine's strong leadership and wisdom," Magleby said. "Elaine has led by example in keeping her research and teaching activities active while shouldering a heavy administrative assignment, and she will be missed."

As associate dean, Rugh will be primarily responsible for curriculum, undergraduate and graduate teaching, advisement, accreditation, assessment, the college writing initiative and other matters.

"Susan is a distinguished scholar and superb teacher," said Magleby. Rugh has recently served as chairwoman of the Rank and Status Committee for the college, and has been a member of numerous other academic councils and advisory committees.

Rugh received her Ph.D. in American history from the University of Chicago in 1993. She began teaching at BYU in 1997 and has since published two books and numerous articles on rural America and the history of travel and tourism. Her article on Utah's promotion of tourism published in the Western Historical Quarterly won the Michael Malone Award from the Western Historical Association in 2007. Her most recent book is "Are We There Yet? The Golden Age of American Family Vacations" (University Press of Kansas, 2008).