Professor of Biology Wendy Raymond has accepted a position at Davidson as the new vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty. Beginning on Aug. 1 of this year, Raymond will recruit, mentor and evaluate faculty and staff for Davidson. She will also help develop the college’s curriculum and manage a $35 million budget. She will replace Dr. Clark Ross, who has held the post for the past 15 years.
Raymond completed her undergraduate education at Cornell University and then received her Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology from Harvard. She completed her post-doctoral studies at the Univ. of Washington, where she studied genetics with the support of the American Cancer Society.
Raymond first joined the College community in 1994, serving as a biology professor. Raymond has taught a variety of courses in the biology department, from introductory survey classes to highly specialized upper level seminars. She also taught classes during the Summer Science Program, which exposes incoming freshmen who identify as underrepresented minorities and/or first-generation college students to the academic rigor and demands of the College. Her research revolves around biochemical components of tRNA stability and uses molecular genetics to see how cell division responds to signals from cellular components.
Raymond also served as the inaugural associate dean for institutional diversity at the College. “[Raymond] will bring to these exciting new responsibilities her experience not only as an accomplished teacher and researcher, but also as [the College’s] associate dean for institutional diversity,” President Falk wrote in an all-campus e-mail announcing Raymond’s departure. “It was natural that she be the first person to hold that position given her long dedication to seeing that [the College] be a place where all students, faculty, and staff – whatever their background – can live, learn, and thrive,” Falk’s e-mail continued.
Raymond actively contributed to help diversify faculty within departments and mentored incoming faculty of color. She also co-founded Claiming Williams, a program that annually interrupts classes for one day of discussion and reflection about building community on campus.
In addition, Raymond has worked with the Mellon Foundation to organize a workshop on broadening access to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.
She has consulted with institutions of higher education on creating and maintaining inclusive science programs.
She currently serves on the congressionally-mandated advisory Committee on Equal Opportunities in Science and Engineering, which works with director of the National Science Foundation to foster an environment that encourages women, minorities, people with disabilities and other frequently overlooked groups to participate in STEM fields. “Her involvement nationally on issues of diversity and inclusion lead naturally to this new position of leadership,” Falk wrote in his message to the College community.
“I love working with and teaching 20-somethings because that stage is so full of promise, questioning, and life,” Raymond said. “I will always be only a phone call, e-mail or Facebook posting away fro all my students, past and present. Just ask the many alumni who are lifelong friends. The rewards of my work at Williams grow and multiply every day. Davidson will definitely benefit from all that I’ve learned from Williams students, staff and faculty.”