Friday, June 01, 2012

[468] MTSU Names Boyd, Van Patten New Chairs in Biology, Chemistry

For release:  June 1, 2012

News and Media Relations contact: Randy Weiler, 615-898-5616 or
College of Basic and Applied Sciences contact: Dr. Tom Cheatham, 615-898-2613 or

MTSU names Boyd, Van Patten new chairs in biology, chemistry

MURFREESBORO — Dean Tom Cheatham and the MTSU College of Basic and Applied Sciences announced today that Drs. Lynn Boyd and Paul Gregory “Greg” Van Patten have been named respective chairs in the departments of biology and chemistry after national searches.

Boyd will arrive on campus July 9 while Van Patten will begin his duties July 16, Cheatham said.

“I’m excited about the new chairs in biology and chemistry,” Cheatham said. “They have the potential to be great leaders in those departments. Both are great individuals and great scientists.”

Cheatham added that both Boyd and Van Patten “are looking forward to the new science building being completed so they can move their departments forward to where the University would like to see them go.” Construction on the 250,000- square-foot, $147 million structure recently began and is scheduled to open in 2015.

Boyd joins MTSU after being an associate professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Alabama at Huntsville since 1998. Boyd teaches students from freshman through Ph.D. level. She has had more than 100 undergraduate advisees, and has mentored more than 40 undergraduates, nine master’s students and two doctoral students who will graduate in fall 2012.

Boyd has 13 refereed publications (including one in “Science”) plus three book chapters and dozens of presentations. She has 16 proposals funded totaling more than $1.5 million. Boyd has been a frequent reviewer for granting agencies and served as University of Alabama at Huntsville faculty senate president in 2007-08.

“Dr. Boyd is a critical thinker, a great collaborator and an effective communicator who values diversity, transparency, teamwork and fairness in all her initiatives,” Cheatham said.

Boyd earned her Ph.D. in biology from the University of Utah in 1992, then spent four years as a post-doctoral fellow at Cornell University and a year as a visiting assistant professor at Colgate University before going to UAH.

Boyd replaces Dr. George Murphy, who is retiring after being on the biology faculty since 1969.

Van Patten comes to MTSU from Ohio University, where he has been an associate and assistant professor, and “he has an excellent reputation as a demanding teacher,” Cheatham said. Van Patten has two patents and two others pending. He has published 33 peer-reviewed/refereed articles and made 50 professional presentations. He has received 14 grants totaling more than $3.5 million, mostly from the National Science Foundation and the Department of Defense.

Van Patten served as the director of the Center for Condensed Matter and Surface Science at Ohio University. He has held several department service positions and served on the faculty senate.

“Dr. Van Patten is an effective leader, a good negotiator, a strong researcher, thoughtful, logical, a good listener and team-builder who is supportive of diversity,” Cheatham said.

Van Patten earned his Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of South Carolina in 1996. After post-doctoral work at Los Alamos National Laboratory from 1996-99, he joined the Ohio University faculty.

He replaces Dr. Earl Pearson, who is retiring after 14 years at MTSU.

Note: High-resolution photos of Drs. Lynn Boyd and Greg Van Patten are attached.


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