Call her Dean de Wet

  • Carol de Wet  

Franklin & Marshall Provost Ann Steiner announced Nov. 5 that Carol de Wet, professor of geosciences in the Department of Earth and Environment, has accepted a three-year appointment as associate dean of the faculty beginning July 1, 2009.

De Wet has been a member of the faculty since 1991. After completing her undergraduate degree at Smith College with majors in English literature and geology, she received an M.Sci. in geology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, followed by a Ph.D. in geology from Cambridge University.

“In addition to her many accomplishments, Carol has established a reputation outside the College for her observations on career paths for women scientists in the academy,” Steiner said. “Carol brings a wealth of experience to the Office of the Provost, and I am excited and proud to have her joining us.”

A highly respected geoscientist, de Wet studies sedimentary rocks and what they tell us about the earth’s deep history. Her work has focused on lake sediments as well as the process of reef formation in an ancient ocean in York County.

While in Scotland last summer, de Wet noted how remarkably similar the early Cambrian strata there are to the same aged strata in central Pennsylvania. Her new research will focus on comparing strata from the two locations to better understand their potential shared history.

De Wet has received prestigious grants to support her work from the Petroleum Research Fund and the National Science Foundation. With many student co-authors on her publications, de Wet has been recognized internally and externally as an outstanding teacher; she received the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching in 2008 and the Biggs Earth Science Teaching Award of the Geological Society of America for exceptional college teaching in 2000.

She served as a department chair from 2001 to 2005, overseeing the creation of two new major programs and the transformation of the Department of Geosciences into the Department of Earth and Environment. From 2006 to 2007, de Wet served as special assistant to the president and provost on Women and Family Issues. She was instrumental in the drafting of College’s Faculty Childbirth and Adoption policy and chaired the Committee on Fair Practices. De Wet was elected to the Professional Standards Committee last spring.

In addition, de Wet was instrumental in the development of the Geoscience Founders’ Society, an alumni group whose mission is to support continued excellence in geoscience at F&M.

Currently, de Wet is heading the College’s initiative to develop academic and co-curricular programs at Millport Conservancy and the Wohlsen Center for Sustainable Environment.

“I am delighted for the opportunity to work with such a strong administrative group including Associate Deans Goeglein and Fluck, Vice-Provost Caniglia and the indomitable Provost Steiner,” de Wet said.

“It will be exciting to think creatively about ways to support department chairs with the challenges they face, as well as work with faculty on professional development, mentoring, research and teaching strategies, and the like, as described in the provost’s call for applicants,” she said.

De Wet and her husband Andrew P. de Wet, associate Professor of Geosciences, have three children: Gregory, 19, a sophomore at Bates College; Emily, 16, a junior at J.P. McCaskey High School; and Cameron, 13, who attends the eighth grade at Wheatland Middle School.

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