President Ken Gormley has named Dr. Ellen Gawalt as the first female dean of the Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences at Duquesne University. She had been interim dean of the school since July 2021.

Since becoming interim dean, Gawalt has overseen an increase in undergraduate enrollment as the school's reputation continues to experience positive growth. Despite being a relatively new school, Bayer's faculty and students are regularly recognized on a national scale. In May, two Bayer students received the prestigious Goldwater Scholarships, becoming the seventh and eighth female Bayer students to receive the honor in the last 10 years.  

"Dr. Gawalt's commitment to our students is unparalleled," said Gormley. "She is a wonderful collaborator, whether partnering with faculty on a research project or working together with students in the lab or classroom. The school's faculty, staff and students will continue to benefit from her expertise."  

A professor at Duquesne since 2003, Gawalt is a Hillman Distinguished Professor and formerly served as Chair of the school's Chemistry and Biochemistry Departments. She has authored or co-authored more than 100 scientific papers and presentations. Her research efforts have generated more than $3.5 million in funding, with a focus on scientific discovery and student education.  

"For nearly twenty years, Dr. Gawalt has played a vital role in preparing our science students for exciting careers in industry and academia," said Duquesne Provost Dr. David Dausey. "A prolific researcher and dedicated educator, she will be an excellent dean for our next generation of students."  

Gawalt is a mentor for the Bayer Scholars Program, which provides full-tuition scholarships and research opportunities for underrepresented groups in chemistry. Under her supervision, 18 students have graduated under the program to work in industry or attend graduate schools since 2013. The program serves as another example of Duquesne's commitment to creating equity and opportunity in the region.  

"I am honored to be named dean of the Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences," Gawalt said.  "I look forward to working alongside our nationally-recognized faculty who care deeply about the education of each of our students and work to continue our tradition of excellent research in the core sciences."  

Gawalt received her bachelor's degree in chemistry from Duke University and her master's and doctoral degrees in chemistry from Princeton University. 

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and horizon-expanding education. A campus of nearly 8,500 graduate and undergraduate students, Duquesne prepares students by having them work alongside faculty to discover and reach their goals. The University's academic programs, community service and commitment to equity and opportunity in the Pittsburgh region have earned national acclaim.

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September 12, 2022