New assistant dean to focus on diversity, alumni relations

Courtesy Photo Philip Palmer serves as the first assistant dean hired for the Bayer School.

Courtesy Photo
Philip Palmer serves as the first assistant dean hired for the Bayer School.

By Kayla Casavant | The Duquesne Duke

The newly appointed assistant dean of the Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences plans to use his position to increase applications to Duquesne’s science programs and develop new initiatives for the school.

Philip Palmer will be in charge of alumni relations for the Bayer school, as well as coordinating the College in High School program that allows high school students to take entry-level college classes at Duquesne, according to Phillip Reeder, dean of the Bayer school.

“In many ways Dr. Palmer will be the face of the Bayer School,” Reeder said. “He will participate in recruiting events for both graduate and undergraduate programs in the Bayer school.”

Palmer has worked in administration and biomedicine at the University of Maryland-Baltimore St. Louis University School of Medicine and, most recently, the University of Pittsburgh.

He is the first assistant dean the Bayer school has hired. Reeder said he put in a request for an assistant dean in the spring and appointed a five-person search committee to select the new assistant dean.

“Both the search committee and I decided we wanted to offer the position to Dr. Palmer,” Reeder said.

Palmer hopes to increase the diversity of the students in the Bayer school.

“When I say ‘diverse’ I don’t just mean race or ethnicity,” Palmer said. “I want to increase international students, and I also want a sampling of students from across the country. I want our student body to be all encompassing.”

Palmer said he also hopes to improve Bayer’s alumni network.

“I had the opportunity to meet some alumni during homecoming,” Palmer said. “It was a great experience.”

Palmer has collaborated with Duquesne in the past to develop undergraduate research programs and pilot grant programs at the University of Pittsburgh. However, he said he still has a lot to learn about the school.

“I am loving getting to know Duquesne,” Palmer said. “Anytime you are new to a situation you must acclimate yourself to the environment.”

Palmer has a bachelor’s in zoology and a masters in food science from Auburn University. He earned a doctorate in biomedical science from Meharry Medical College in Nashville. He also has a certificate in organizational leadership from the University of Pittsburgh’s graduate school of business.

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