MSUToday
Published: Dec. 14, 2017

Cheryl Sisk recommended as interim dean of College of Natural Science

Contact(s): Val Osowski College of Natural Science office: (517) 432-4561 osowskiv@msu.edu

Cheryl Sisk, associate dean for faculty development in the College of Natural Science, will be recommended as interim dean of the college, succeeding R. James Kirkpatrick, who served as dean since 2007.

If approved by the MSU Board of Trustees, the appointment would be effective Jan. 1, 2018. 

Sisk, a University Distinguished Professor, has served as a NatSci associate dean since January 2017. She joined MSU in 1985 and is currently a professor in the neuroscience program (where she has been a member since 1985) and an adjunct professor in the physiology department. She has also served on the faculty of the psychology department as a professor (1995-2015), associate professor (1989-1995) and assistant professor (1985-1989).

“Dr. Sisk’s leadership experience and understanding of the College will provide continuity during this time of transition,” said MSU Provost June Pierce Youatt. “I would like to thank Cheryl for agreeing to step into this position, and to thank Dean Kirkpatrick for his many years of service to the College.”

Sisk, an expert in the fields of psychobiology and neuroscience, investigates the influence of gonadal steroid hormones on nervous system structure and function during puberty and adolescence. Research in her lab is a combination of neuroendocrinology, developmental neurobiology, functional neuroanatomy and behavioral neuroscience. Her teaching experience includes teaching at both the graduate and undergraduate level, where she has been committed to incorporating active learning in all of her classes. She earned her Ph.D. in psychobiology/neuroscience from the Florida State University.

“It’s an honor to be recommended to serve as interim dean of NatSci,” Sisk said. “I can’t think of a higher privilege than to work with the exceptional faculty, chairs and directors, and dean’s office staff to advance the missions of the college.” 

A reception took place earlier this month to honor and thank Kirkpatrick, who will be stepping down on Dec. 31 after 10+ years as NatSci dean. Kirkpatrick will remain on the MSU faculty, continuing his research program in geochemistry.

A search for the next NatSci dean is underway, with an expectation that candidates will be on campus for interviews in January and February 2018.

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