Fresno State appointed Dr. Andrew Lawson as interim dean of the College of Science and Mathematics. Dr. Lynnette Zelezny, provost and vice president for academic affairs, announced Lawson’s selection on December 4.

Lawson, a professor of entomology, has been the college’s associate dean since July 2013. He replaces Dean Susan Elrod, who is on an 18-month leave of absence and working as interim provost at California State University, Chico. Lawson will continue as interim dean until Elrod returns.

“I appreciate Dr. Lawson stepping up to this new challenge,” said Zelezny. “I am confident he brings experience, stability and strong leadership as the college moves forward.”

Lawson joined Fresno State’s Department of Plant Science in 2001. He has been active in service to the University as chair of the Department of Plant Science, the University General Education Committee, the University Assessment Committee and the Council of Department Chairs. He also was faculty chair for the WASC accreditation committee.

Lawson has published 15 peer reviewed articles and been awarded 32 research grants totaling over $1.5 million in funding. He has presented his research at more than 60 local, regional and international conferences.

His honors include the Jordan College of Agriculture Outstanding Faculty Member award, the Outstanding Research and Scholarly Activity award and the “Best in Show Award” from the Dean of Undergraduate Studies

Lawson obtained an honors bachelor’s degree in Biology from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. He obtained his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley, where he also did post-doctoral work in entomology, focusing on the use of natural enemies to control urban forest insect pests.

The College of Science and Mathematics offers programs in biology, chemistry, computer science, earth & environmental sciences, mathematics, physics and psychology. Additional facilities include the Downing Planetarium, Moss Landing Marine Laboratory located on the Central Coast and the Jordan Research Center, a research facility under construction that will enable researchers from three colleges (Jordan College of Agriculture Sciences and Technology, College of Science and Mathematics and the Lyles College of Engineering) to work side-by-side and create a new atmosphere of interconnectivity.

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