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Skidmore College
815 North Broadway
Saratoga Springs
New York, 12866






Muriel E. Poston, Ph.D.
Dean of the Faculty

Muriel E. Poston, Ph.D., was named Dean of the Faculty at Skidmore College in 2005. Before taking this position, Dr. Poston was a faculty member in the Biology Department at Howard University in Washington, D.C. and a deputy division director at the National Science Foundation. She spent over twenty years teaching in the Department of Biology/Botany at Howard, where she also served as curator of the university herbarium. Her primary research interests are in plant systematics, especially the evolutionary relationships of neotropical plants.

More recently, she has pursued the field of environmental law and policy. Dr. Poston received funding awards from the National Science Foundation for curricular initiatives and from the UNCF and NIEHS to explore issues of environmental justice, and to assist faculty in the development of interdisciplinary courses. She chaired Howard University's Natural Science Division and Academic Policy and Standards Committee. In addition, she served as chair of the Faculty Senate, and two terms as undergraduate faculty trustee.

In 2002, Dr. Poston became a program director with the National Science Foundation, and eighteen months later was named deputy division director for the foundation's Division of Biological Infrastructure. At the NSF she was responsible for programs to enhance infrastructure for biological research collections, research instrumentation, and field station facilities. In addition, she worked on initiatives to broaden participation of underrepresented groups in science and to bring more women into the fields of science and engineering.

In 1996-97 Poston was a fellow with the American Council on Education, a leadership development program that mentors academic leaders. In 1982 and 1990, Poston was a Smithsonian Institution research fellow at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. Prior to joining the Howard faculty in 1980, she did postdoctoral work at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis where she also served as an administrative curator for the herbarium. Poston earned a B.A. degree from Stanford University, M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of California at Los Angeles, and a J.D. degree from the University of Maryland.


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