My higher education experiences took place at mid-western and east coast schools. I have a B.S. in Microbiology from Purdue University, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Biochemistry from The George Washington University. In graduate school, I studied arachidonic acid metabolism in mouse lymphocytes, and helped to identify the immunological stimulators of cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase enzymes and the prostaglandin and leukotriene metabolites produced in lymphocytes. The proximity of GWU to the National Institutes of Health and The Johns Hopkins University meant that the faculty and graduate students were treated to many seminar presentations by the scientists at those institutions. The exciting discoveries described by these scientists stimulated my interest in continuing to train as a postdoctoral fellow at one of these institutions. I was recruited into a postdoctoral fellowship by Peter Devreotes at The Johns Hopkins University Department of Biological Chemistry. At JHU, my research interests shifted from lipid metabolism in mice to the cellular biochemistry and developmental mechanisms of the model organism Dictyostelium discoideum. We studied hormonal control of cell signaling and gene expression patterns in development. After a short stint as an assistant professor at Wayne State University teaching biochemistry to graduate and medical students, I moved to a faculty position at Idaho State University in 1998 and began teaching mostly undergraduate students. My teaching expertise, developed over 17 years as a faculty member, includes graduate and undergraduate courses in biochemistry, introductory biology for biology majors and health professions majors, and developmental biology.
While at Wayne State University, I began to develop my interest in women’s careers in science. I served as a member of the Women in Cell Biology Committee of the American Society for Cell Biology from 1996 through 2000. During this time, I also served as editor and contributing author of the Women in Cell Biology column in the monthly ASCB newsletter. With the help of this network of women cell biologists, I designed and implemented initiatives to enhance the professional development of mid-career women scientists in STEM disciplines at Idaho State University, and served as the principle investigator of a National Science Foundation ADVANCE grant award that funded the initiatives.
I took my first administrative position in 2004, serving as Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Idaho State University from 2004 to 2007. For the academic year 2007-2008, I was the Interim Dean of that College. I moved to Fort Lewis College as the Dean of the School of Natural and Behavioral Sciences in July 2008, and became the Dean of Arts and Sciences in July 2013.
My vision for the School of Arts and Sciences is to develop and maintain high quality academic programs that prepare students for graduate programs or jobs in their home communities.