Dr. Michael Eastman, regents' professor of chemistry at Northern Arizona University (NAU), has been named the new dean for the College of Science and Engineering at The University of Texas-Pan American.
Eastman, who officially began his duties January 2 after 15 years at NAU, replaces Dr. John Villarreal, who served as interim dean.
"My primary goal is to increase opportunity for students, faculty and staff members," Eastman said. "There are several aspects to this. You have to have excellent teaching; encourage students by creating scholarship and internship opportunities; and create research opportunities."
The College of Science and Engineering is composed of the departments of biology, chemistry, computer science, electrical engineering, manufacturing engineering, mathematics, mechanical engineering and physics.
Also included in the biology and chemistry departments are programs for pre-dental and pre-medical students. Chemistry also has a plan of study for pre-pharmacy students.
Eastman hopes to increase one-on-one relationships between faculty and students by incorporating more grant programs and research projects.
"I would like as many students as possible to have undergraduate research experience," Eastman said. "There are many different opportunities in each field, and each department has to develop that mix of teaching and research that works best for the students."
Dr. Rodolfo Arévalo, vice-president/provost for Academic Affairs, said he is certain Eastman will be an asset to the College of Science and Engineering and the University.
"Dr. Eastman's many years of experience will assist the College in improving its degree programs and beginning the development of a doctoral program in such areas as biology, mathematics, engineering and the integrations of interdisciplinary activities," Arévalo said. "His expertise in grant development and grant writing will also help the College increase the number of funded grants and increase the amount of research being conducted."
Eastman obtained a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Carleton College in 1963 and went on to Cornell University to obtain his doctoral degree in physical chemistry in 1968. Eastman also attended Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory from 1968-70 for postdoctoral research.
Some of Eastman's previous job positions include associate professor of chemistry and vice president for Academic Affairs at the University of Texas at El Paso; and chair of the department of chemistry at Northern Arizona University.
Aside from his administrative duties, Eastman has received research funding from several organizations, including the Robert A. Welch Foundation, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Hewlett Packard Corporation and the Medi-Flex Corporation. He has had more than 76 research papers published, and one patent on micro cantilever sensors.