Dr. Gerald Griffin, associate professor of biology and psychology at Hope College, has been named the college’s associate provost for academic affairs.
A member of the college’s faculty since 2015 who has also directed the college’s neuroscience program, he will assume office on July 1.
“I’m extremely pleased that Gerald Griffin will be the college’s new associate provost for academic affairs,” said Dr. Cady Short-Thompson, provost of the college. “He exemplifies the qualities that we sought in an ideal candidate, including demonstrated excellence in teaching, scholarship, service, leadership experience in the Hope community and living out the college’s mission.”
The new, full-time position replaces — and combines and expands — two part-time associate deanships, one in teaching and learning, and the other in research and scholarship.
“The associate-dean model was a valuable addition to our administrative structure in 2012,” Short-Thompson said. “Experience has shown, though, that merging the two positions and enabling an individual faculty member to devote full-time attention to them together will serve even more effectively in supporting and enhancing the primary dimensions of our faculty’s work here at Hope: excellent teaching and scholarship, which overlap in many ways.”
As a deputy to the provost, Griffin will provide strategic leadership and some operational management. He will partner with the college’s deans and faculty governance to identify opportunities to support faculty in their teaching and scholarship as well as faculty development, and to enhance the academic program. He will also supervise the directors of a variety of programs, including ongoing faculty-development initiatives, summer research, general education, and the Klooster Center for Writing and Research.
The college previously had an associate provost from 2001 to 2016, although with a different focus. Alfredo Gonzales, who retired in 2016 after being at the college since 1979, had been associate provost with responsibilities as dean for international and multicultural education.
Griffin is a neuroscientist and virologist. He has several peer-reviewed publications that represent his dedication to neuroscience research and education. He has mentored and published with more than 30 undergraduate and graduate students, and has been active in numerous science-education opportunities, including being a council member for the Faculty of Undergraduate Neuroscience.
His research interests primarily focus on the reciprocal interactions between viruses and the nervous system. In January of this year, he was named a 2019 Emerging Scholar by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, and Hope presented him with its Janet L. Andersen Excellence in Teaching Award. In 2016, he and his team of Hope student researchers received the college’s “Social Sciences Young Investigators Award” for investigating the normal functioning of the peptide amyloid beta, which has been found in elevated levels as a plaque in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. During the college’s Winter Happening event in January 2017, he presented a seminar examining research highlighting the roles of infectious agents in decreasing mental function.
Prior to coming to Hope, Griffin was an assistant professor in the Department of Biology at Tuskegee University for four years, previously serving as a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Microbiology at the University of Pennsylvania for two years. He completed his doctorate in neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania in 2009 and undergraduate degree at Cornell University in 2003.