As the first female full professor in biology, Laurie Caslake has served as department head these past three years (as well as acting head in 2006-07, head in 2009-2012, and acting head in spring 2015). As she steps down to enjoy a well-deserved sabbatical, we think she deserves recognition. Here is why:
1) Laurie’s accomplishments have been legion including innovative curricular initiatives in data science, collaborative teaching, multiple extramural grants, mentoring collaborators as well as junior faculty, helping biology earn a Marquis Award … Oh, and she oversaw moving the entirety of a diverse 14-person department into a multi-million-dollar building!
2) But by far her behind-the-scenes focus on student success is at the fore as she supported Science Horizons, Phages, leaders, capstone, Pard Pantry, and more.
3) Hosting students for picnics, cookie-decorating parties, and holiday dinners, Laurie lives the example of a caring and fully engaged member of the faculty. —Nancy McCreary Waters, associate professor, and Lisa Pezzino, secretary, on behalf of the Biology Department