By Tom Evelyn
LEWISBURG, Pa. — George Shields, an accomplished chemistry professor and founding dean of science and technology at Armstrong Atlantic State University, has been named dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Bucknell University, Provost Mick Smyer announced today. Shields will begin his duties as dean on July 1. || George Shields will be introduced to campus during a reception from 3 to 5 p.m. Friday, May 14, in Walls Lounge.
"Dr. Shields has built a distinguished career as an exceptional teacher-scholar and a strong advocate for the liberal arts," Smyer said. " He has extensive experience in curricular reform, strategic planning, increasing diversity through innovative methods and helping academic departments and colleges flourish under his leadership, all qualities we sought in selecting the next dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Bucknell."
Shields' appointment follows an extensive national search and visits of finalists to campus for a series of meetings and public forums with faculty, students, and staff. Earlier this semester, Arts and Sciences Dean Christopher Zappe announced that he had accepted a position as provost at Gettysburg College effective July 6.
"Dr. Shields met the committee's high expectations for our next dean as a teacher, scholar and mentor to faculty and students, and as an administrator," said Kim Daubman, associate professor of psychology and chair of the search committee. "The committee reviewed excellent candidates from around the country, and we are excited by the commitment to the liberal arts and teacher-scholar model that he brings to the University."
Shields has served as dean of the College of Science and Technology at Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah, Ga., where he is also a professor of chemistry in the Department of Chemistry and Physics, since 2008. AASU is a regional leader in educating science and mathematics teachers and has been recognized for its excellence in undergraduate research.
Since 2000, Shields has also served as director of MERCURY, or the Molecular Education and Research Consortium in Undergraduate Computational Chemistry, a collaboration of undergraduate research teams at 11 different institutions that encourages close interaction between faculty and students.
From 1998 to 2008, Shields served as a professor of chemistry at Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y. He was chair of Hamilton's Department of Chemistry from 1999 to 2006 and served as the Winslow Professor of Chemistry from 2003 to 2008.
Shields served in various faculty and administrative posts at Lake Forest College in Illinois from 1989 to 1998, including assistant and associate professor of chemistry and chair of the chemistry department.
Shields' research has included undergraduates in meaningful projects in the fields of computational chemistry, structural biochemistry and science education. His most current research involves using computational methods to gain insights into biochemistry and environmental chemistry.
Since 1990, Shields has received more than $4 million in external research grants from several foundations and funding agencies, including the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health. He has published 62 scientific and six educational papers since 1983, including 40 scientific papers with 42 undergraduates working in his research group since 1991.
Shields received his bachelor's and master's degrees in chemistry and doctorate in physical chemistry all from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He did his postdoctoral research at Yale University and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. His postdoc research on protein-DNA interactions was conducted in the laboratory of Professor Thomas Steitz, the 2009 Chemistry Nobel Laureate.
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