The College of Arts and Sciences thanks Dr. Craig Gatto, director of the School of Biological Sciences, and Dr. Craig C. McLauchlan, chair of the Department of Chemistry, for their long history of extraordinary service as they each assume new responsibilities at Illinois State University.
Gatto joined Illinois State University as an assistant professor of cell biology and biophysics in 2000. He has served as director of the School for the past ten years. McLauchlan arrived at Illinois State as an assistant professor of chemistry in 2002 and has served as department chair/interim department chair since 2013.
“I am personally and professionally grateful to these two talented colleagues for their stellar work,” said Interim Dean Diane Zosky. “The College is truly fortunate to have had such dedicated and knowledgeable professors at the helm of their respective units, and we wish both of them well in their future endeavors.”
Gatto will begin a new assignment as interim chair of the Department of Chemistry on July 1. McLauchlan will begin work as associate vice president for research and graduate studies in the Office of the Provost, also on July 1.
During the course of Gatto’s career, he has received grant funding of more than $4 million from competitive sources such as the National Science Foundation and the American Heart Association. In 2009 he won an Outstanding University Researcher Award and in 2015 he was named University Professor.
Throughout his time at Illinois State, McLauchlan has served as a mentor to over 40 students (B.S. and M.S.). His research, which has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation and the American Chemical Society, spans bioinorganic chemistry, materials chemistry, structural chemistry, and catalysis, often involving vanadium-containing complexes.
Both professors have been recipients of the National Science Foundation’s CAREER awards, which are presented in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through research and education, and the integration of these endeavors in the context of their organization’s missions.
The College also expresses its gratitude to Professor Ricardo Cortez Cruz, who served as acting chair of the Department of English during the 2019-2020 academic year as Dr. Christopher De Santis was on sabbatical.
Other colleagues in the College of Arts and Sciences will also assume leadership roles in the College for the 2020-2021 academic year. Dr. Deneca Avant will serve as the interim director of the School of Social Work. Dr. John Kostelnick will serve as acting chair of the Department of Geography, Geology, and the Environment for the 2020–2021 academic year as Dr. Dagmar Budikova is on sabbatical. Dr. Rocio Rivadeneyra will serve as the interim chair of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. Dr. Pete Smudde will serve as the acting chair of the Department of Physics for the fall 2020 semester as Dan Holland is on sabbatical. The College previously announced that Dr. Rachel Bowden was appointed as the director of the School of Biological Sciences beginning July 1, 2020. The College appreciates their willingness to take on these new responsibilities!