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Head Search Underway in BTL

The Department of Biology Teaching and Learning is currently searching for a new department head to replace Robin Wright, who started work in 2017 as the Director for the Division of Undergraduate Education, in the Directorate of Education and Human Resources at the National Science Foundation.

A Search Committee, headed by Mike O’Connor, current head of the Department of Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development, has identified four outside candidates. These individuals will be on campus between late-March and early-May for two-day interviews with faculty, staff, post-docs, and graduate students from BTL, CBS, and other areas of the University. Additionally, each candidate will give two seminar presentations – one on their educational research and one on their vision for the department. These seminars are open to the public.

The name of each candidate will be released the week before their visit, and information will be updated on this site. Feedback on all candidates will be collected at:

Any questions can be directed to Becky Hippert,, staff to the Search Committee.

March 26-27 – Candidate 1
Sara Brownell
Assistant Professor, School of Life Sciences
Arizona State University

April 18-19 – Candidate 2
Michelle Smith
Associate Professor in the School of Biology and Ecology
University of Maine

April 23-24 – Candidate 3
Nancy Pelaez
Associate Professor of Biological Sciences
Purdue University

April 30-May 1 – Candidate 4
Kyle Frantz
Professor in the Department of Biology and Neuroscience Institute
Georgia State University


March, 2018