Claremont, Calif. (January 19, 2016)—Pitzer College Professor of Environmental Analysis Muriel Poston has been elected chair of the education section of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The association named Poston an AAAS Fellow in 2013 in recognition of her efforts to improve and expand undergraduate science education. She will assume her new post as chair of the AAAS education section on February 16, 2016.
A plant biologist who served as dean of the faculty/vice president for academic affairs at Pitzer from 2012-15, Poston has worked throughout her career to increase the number of under-represented students and faculty in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. Poston is a co-principal investigator for MECHANISM, a project at Pitzer that supports students with financial need who plan to major in a STEM discipline.
Prior to coming to Pitzer, Poston was the division director for human resource development in the Education and Human Resources Directorate at the National Science Foundation (NSF), where she led eight NSF programs that support minority-serving institutions and under-represented groups in the STEM fields. At Skidmore College from 2005-11, Poston worked to expand participation in STEM disciplines and enhance the capacity and infrastructure of the STEM facilities through her roles as dean of faculty, professor of biology and, from 2010-11, acting vice president of academic affairs. Before joining Skidmore’s faculty, Poston spent more than 20 years as a professor in the Department of Biology/Botany of Howard University, where she focused on undergraduate education, curated the university herbarium and helped develop the university’s environmental science program.
Among many other positions and honors, Poston has served as the chair of the congressionally mandated Committee on Equal Opportunities in Science and Engineering and as a member of the NSF Advisory Committee for the Biological Sciences Directorate.
The American Association for the Advancement of Science is an international non-profit organization that seeks to advance science, engineering and innovation throughout the world. The AAAS publishes four peer-reviewed journals, including Science, the renowned global science weekly. Formed in 1848, AAAS was the first permanent organization in the US dedicated to promoting the development of science and engineering at the national level and representing the interests of all its disciplines.