Elrod named College of Science and Mathematics dean

Dr. Susan Elrod, former executive director of Project Kaleidoscope at the Association of American Colleges and Universities and professor of Biological Sciences at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, is Fresno State’s new dean of the College of Science and Mathematics.

Dr. William Covino, provost and vice president for academic affairs, announced the appointment today.  Elrod begins her new assignment Jan. 14 as head of the seven-department college that has a current enrollment of 3,436 students with 162 faculty members.

Covino noted Elrod’s “wide-ranging and impressive research record” that includes four patents, a widely-used genetics textbook, recent science education  grants totaling $4 million and important scholarship that has focused in recent years on facilitating interdisciplinary learning.

“Susan Elrod brings us the scholarly acumen, dedication to student success and national prominence to lead the College of Science and Mathematics to great achievements,” Covino said.

Elrod said she is honored for the opportunity.

“It is an exciting time for the university and I look forward to helping the college build upon its already strong foundation of student-faculty interaction, community engagement, interdisciplinary programs and research activity as we move forward together,” she said.

Elrod holds a Ph.D. in Genetics from the University of California, Davis and a B.S. in Biological Sciences from California State University, Chico.

At Project Kaleidoscope (PKAL), where she served two years until September, she launched multi-campus, national educational initiatives focused on interdisciplinary learning, sustainability and success for transfer students studying science, technology, engineering and mathematic (STEM) disciplines.  She also expanded the project’s STEM faculty networks and enhanced its Summer Leadership Institute program for emerging campus leaders.

A Cal Poly faculty member since 1997, Elrod’s administrative accomplishments include leading the development of that CSU campus’ Western Association of Schools and Colleges institutional proposal self-study themes. She served as assistant chair of the Biological Sciences Department, associate dean in the College of Science and Mathematics and as the director of the Center for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Education (CESaME).

At CESaME, Elrod was responsible for the growth of the STAR Teacher Researcher program, a summer research program for aspiring science and mathematics teachers. She serves on a number of advisory and review boards and has been an American Council on Education Fellow.

Fresno State’s College of Science and Mathematics provides professional training at the undergraduate and graduate levels to serve as a foundation for a career in science or mathematics, to provide pre-professional training in preparation for careers in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, veterinary medicine and other professions or for continued study at the graduate level.

The college’s seven departments are Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Mathematics, Physics and Psychology. In 2011-12, the college conferred 494 degrees (393 undergraduates and 101 graduates.)

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Tom Uribes

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Public Affairs Specialist, University Communications
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