SELINSGROVE — Susquehanna University has named Katherine Straub as dean of the School of Natural and Social Sciences. Straub has been serving as interim dean since August.
As dean of the School of Natural and Social Sciences, Straub will oversee eight academic departments comprised of 71 faculty members.
Straub joined Susquehanna in 2002 as assistant professor of earth and environmental sciences. She was promoted to associate professor in 2008 and achieved full professor standing in 2014, at which time she was also elected chair of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences.
In 2017, Straub was named director of Susquehanna’s Center for Environmental Education and Research. In this position, she created the Office of Sustainability and hired and mentored the university’s first sustainability coordinator, both of which led to Susquehanna’s 2020 silver certification by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education Sustainability Tracking and Reporting System.
As director of the CEER, Straub also oversees the Freshwater Research Institute, an externally funded ecology lab with two full-time staff members, and the 87-acre CEER property adjacent to campus that includes a 3-megawatt solar array, ecology and environmental science research sites, a demonstration riparian buffer, apiary and a student-run campus garden. She developed a 2021 summer internship program through the Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education that placed students with partner organizations and provided intentional vocational discernment programming, something she plans to expand upon as dean. She also co-wrote proposals leading to $1.6 million in funding to support the work and research of the FRI.
Straub earned her bachelor’s degree in earth and planetary sciences from Harvard University in 1994. She went on to earn her master’s degree and doctorate in atmospheric science from Colorado State University in 1999 and 2002, respectively.