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Garnett S. Stokes, PhD

Interim President

Dr. Garnett S. Stokes was selected as the Interim President of the university by the Florida State University Board of Trustees on March 7, and the appointment was subsequently approved by the Florida Board of Governors.

The appointment is effective April 2 upon the departure of President Eric J. Barron. Dr. Stokes had served as Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs at Florida State since 2011. Nationally known in her field, she also holds an appointment as a professor in psychology.

As provost, Dr. Stokes served as the chief academic officer and the second-highest ranking administrator of the university. Previously, she served as dean of the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Georgia from 2004 to 2011. Prior to serving as dean, she spent five years as the head of the Department of Psychology.

During Dr. Stokes' tenure at Florida State, she has focused on several initiatives that include 1) faculty advancement and development; 2) student graduate success; 3) university-wide hiring initiatives, including the development of an entrepreneur-in-residence program in each college; and 4) the establishment of an Office of Postdoctoral Affairs.

She has pledged to continue the momentum of Florida State's rise in rankings and fundraising initiatives, as well as the research and creative activities that support the academic mission as the university conducts a search for a new president.

Research focus and academic career

Dr. Stokes' research focuses on personnel selection and promotion, and areas of individual differences such as life history, personality and values. She is a widely published scholar in the area of industrial and organizational psychology and one of the most respected psychologists in her field. Much of her research – and the focus of a 1994 book (Biodata Handbook: Theory, Research, and Use of Biographical Information in Selection and Performance Prediction) – deals with biodata, involving the use of biographical information in decisions concerning selection and performance prediction: how personality, values, attitudes and life experiences are predictors of occupational choice. She is also a co-author of Patterns of Life History: The Ecology of Human Individuality (Applied Psychology Series) published in 1990.

As a consultant in the field of industrial psychology, Dr. Stokes has assisted businesses, government agencies and Fortune 500 companies in the development of biographical questionnaires, job, selection and promotion tests, and evaluations of training programs.

Dr. Stokes is a fellow of the Association for Psychological Science, the American Psychological Association and the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology. She earned two degrees from the University of Georgia: a doctorate in psychology with a specialty in industrial and organizational psychology and a Master of Science. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City, Tennessee.

Dr. Stokes is married to Dr. Jeffrey N. Younggren, a practicing forensic and clinical psychologist. She enjoys outdoor activities, especially hiking and cycling, and likes to travel with her husband. She currently serves on the board of the United Way of the Big Bend.