Mount St. Mary’s University recently appointed Dr. Christine McCauslin as the new dean for the School of Natural Science and Mathematics. McCauslin has been a member of the Mount faculty since 2004 and was previously the chair of the Science Department for more than five years. As professor, she has taught genetics, biochemistry and an introductory biology course, and she has been serving as Interim Dean since Dr. Kraig Sheetz became the Executive Vice President in January 2021.
“I actually really like teaching introductory biology because one of my favorite things about this class, there is a very large number of first-year students and that since it is primarily first-year students, it’s just gratifying to meet them coming in the door and see them again as they are graduating. Seeing how they have grown, changed, matured and are just going to go out and set the world on fire.”
Instead of overseeing a single department, she oversees all the departments in the school and is focused on thinking about how to move the departments forward in terms of accomplishing tasks by successful collaboration with all. “I want to concentrate on how we can set the school up to be a leader in thinking about innovative curriculum,” she stated. This comes at a time when the University is planning to expand the School of Natural Science and Mathematics facilities in the near future. One of her goals is to make sure that the expansion happens effectively.
“I think the primary goal is to think about how we put the School of Natural Science and Mathematics on the map in terms of thinking externally about how we are viewed by prospective families and other institutions. We have these great opportunities for students. We have a lot of options that you could typically find at really big schools in this very small, personalized setting.” McCauslin shows a lot of enthusiasm for growing the School of Natural Science and Mathematics because of her mission of making the school better known around the nation.
When asked about what interested her about the Dean’s position, McCauslin said, “One of the interesting things is that science is becoming really interdisciplinary so as we think about solving problems we think about our mission as an institution to graduate students that can think critically and creatively about how to solve the problems that mankind faces. That is one of the things that excites me about being the dean: being able to have the view of all three of those groups [behavioral, computational, and natural sciences] and think about the ways of they can interact with one other and how we can bring these things together for students and move in that direction.” She plans to help move the School of Natural Science and Mathematics forward as it has experienced tremendous growth in the program over the last several years.
Dr. Ann Lyons, a lecturer in the Science department, remarked, “Dr. McCauslin is an amazing scientist, an inspirational leader and a wonderful person. I believe that we are very blessed to have her as the Dean.” Along with Dr. Lyons, many other professors and colleagues in the School of Natural Science and Mathematics are thrilled to see her take on this new role at the University.