Boyd, Van Patten are new chairs in biology, chemis...

Boyd, Van Patten are new chairs in biology, chemistry

College of Basic and Applied Sciences Dean Tom Cheatham announced June 1 that Drs. Lynn Boyd and Paul Gregory “Greg” Van Patten have been named chairs in the departments of biology and chemistry, respectively, 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 began last month on the 250,000-square-foot, $147 million structure, which is scheduled to open in 2015.

Dr. Lynn Boyd

Boyd has been an associate professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Alabama in Huntsville since 1998, teaching and mentoring students from freshman year to the doctoral level.

Boyd has had 13 refereed publications, including one in Science, plus three book chapters and dozens of presentations and has 16 proposals funded totaling more than $1.5 million. She has been a frequent reviewer for granting agencies and also served as the 2007-08 UAHuntsville faculty senate president.

“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 doctorate 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 joining the UAH faculty.

She replaces Dr. George Murphy, who is retiring from MTSU after 43 years in the University’s biology department.

Dr. Greg Van Patten

Van Patten comes to MTSU from Ohio University, where he has been an associate and assistant professor.

“He has an excellent reputation as a demanding teacher,” Cheatham said.

Van Patten has two patents and two others pending and 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 U.S. 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 in the OU 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 doctoral degree in physical chemistry from the University of South Carolina in 1996. After post-doctoral work at Los Alamos National Laboratory from 1996 to 1999, he joined the Ohio University faculty.

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

— Randy Weiler (