Advancing Excellence: Embry-Riddle Names Two Vice Provosts

Eduardo Divo and Norbert Zarb
Drs. Eduardo Divo and Norbert “Bert” Zarb will begin serving as Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs and Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, respectively, on Jan. 2, 2024. (Photos: Embry-Riddle/Daryl Labello)

To accelerate academic excellence, faculty advancement, diversity and student success, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University has named two longtime academic leaders — Dr. Norbert “Bert” Zarb and Dr. Eduardo Divo — to serve as Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs, respectively.

The selection of Zarb and Divo marks a key milestone in the university’s progress toward achieving its strategic goals under a new Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, Dr. Kelly Austin. The new Vice Provosts will assume their roles as of Jan. 2, 2024, serving all three of Embry-Riddle’s campuses, located at Daytona Beach, Florida, Prescott Arizona, and globally, through online programs hosted by the Worldwide Campus.

“Eduardo Divo and Bert Zarb will bring a tremendous amount of collective wisdom, experience, institutional knowledge and dedication to their new roles,” said Austin, who this year moved to Embry-Riddle from The Pennsylvania State University, University Park. “They will play a critical role in achieving advancements related to student success and community enrichment; the cultivation, recruitment and retention of talented faculty; and the caliber of our exceptional academic programs. I look forward to supporting their efforts.”

Zarb and Divo’s selection followed a highly competitive national search that drew a large number of exceptional candidates. “I am grateful to the many outstanding applicants who stepped forward, as well as our dedicated search committee,” Austin said. In particular, he thanked search committee co-chairs Dr. Peter Hoffman, dean of the College of Arts & Sciences at the Daytona Beach Campus, and Prescott Campus Vice Chancellor and Professor of Psychology Dr. Kathy Lustyk.

Vice Provost for Academic Affairs

Dr. Bert Zarb joined Embry-Riddle 25 years ago. Since 2015, he has served as chair and professor of Accounting at Embry-Riddle’s David B. O’Maley College of Business.

His many service roles over the years have included two terms as Daytona Beach Campus Faculty Delegate to the Board of Trustees, as Vice Speaker of the Faculty, and as Speaker of the Faculty. After joining Embry-Riddle as a visiting instructor in 1998, Zarb assumed faculty positions of increasing responsibility, ultimately becoming a tenured professor. He served as Undergraduate Program Coordinator in the David B. O’Maley College of Business from 2010 until 2015.

“My priority will continue to be promoting the success of our students, listening and learning, and serving as an effective liaison between university administration and academic leadership,” Zarb said. “Both groups play an essential role in promoting student success and excellence in education, and in furthering the university’s strategic initiatives.

Currently, Zarb holds various licenses and certifications, including Certified Public Accountant, Chartered Global Management Accountant, and an International Air Transport Association Diploma in Airline Finance and Accounting.

A prolific scholarly author, Zarb’s awards have included the College of Business’s Outstanding Faculty Award for teaching, numerous others for research and service, and the Daytona Beach Campus James E. Lewis Outstanding Service Award. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Accounting (with honors), from the University of Malta; a Master’s of Business Administration (Accounting) from the University of Central Florida; and a Doctoral in Business Administration in, Accounting, from Argosy University.

Zarb is a past president of the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Volusia County Chapter, and is a member of several accounting associations.

A former partner in the CPA firm, Ledgerwood and Zarb, Certified Public Accountants and Associates, Zarb has twelve years’ experience in public and private accounting, auditing, taxation and business management.

During his lengthy service to Embry-Riddle, “Bert Zarb has played an essential role in developing highly effective and innovative programs, such as the Master of Science in Aviation Finance,” said Dr. Shanan Gibson, dean of the David B. O’Maley College of Business. “He also spearheaded an agreement that provides expedited acceptance of our students into one of the nation’s premiere Master of Accountancy programs.”

Further, Gibson said, Zarb “helps our alumni secure high-paying jobs with leading businesses.”

Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs

Eduardo Divo, a 10-year veteran of Embry-Riddle and a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, currently serves as senior associate dean and professor in the College of Engineering at the Daytona Beach Campus. Before assuming his current positions, he served as chair of the Mechanical Engineering Department (2017-2022).

Award-winning biomechanical research by Divo has focused on helping patients born with only one functioning heart ventricle, a condition that deprives them of crucial blood oxygenation. That work, supported by major external funding and conducted with postdoctoral researchers (Drs. Arka Das and Ray Prather), earned Divo the Children’s Heart Foundation’s Cortney Barnett Research Award.

Divo holds several technical degrees from Central Technological University, in addition to a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Central Florida. His many awards have recognized his achievements related to research, teaching and professional service.

“Faculty members flourish when they are given the right opportunity and when everyone’s strengths are identified and utilized to their full potential,” Divo said. “We do our best work when we are all operating in a harmonious climate based on a common goal — the success of our students. I am eager to support that vision.”

Divo’s countless service roles at Embry-Riddle have encompassed Ph.D. Program Coordinator for the Mechanical Engineering Department; membership in the President’s Council, Academic Council, and Research Council; and service to the Academic Standards and Readmissions Committee, the Program Review Committee, the Strategic Planning Committee, his department’s Curriculum Committee, and many other groups.

Further, he served as faculty advisor for the Biomedical Engineering Society at Embry-Riddle; and as a member of the editorial board for the International Journal of Engineering Analysis. He is a member of multiple top professional societies, including the American Society of Engineering Education.

“On a continuing basis, Professor Divo serves as an exceptional mentor and advisor for undergraduate, Ph.D. and international students,” said Dr. Jim Gregory, dean of the College of Engineering at Daytona Beach. “Among his more than 100 advisees, success stories abound, but as one example, his former student Dr. Victor Huayamave is now an Embry-Riddle faculty member and a recent recipient of a National Science Foundation’s Faculty Early CAREER award.”

Gregory added, “I have no doubt that Eduardo will bring the same level of compassionate, effective, dedicated leadership to his new role as Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs.”

Posted In: Institutional News