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Interim Leadership for the Graduate College

June 6, 2017

Message from M. Brian Blake, PhD, Executive Vice President and Provost 

Dear Colleagues,

As many of you know, one of our most esteemed and dedicated colleagues, Dr. James Herbert, will be embarking on the next chapter of his career as President of the University of New England. I hope you will join us in celebrating his career during a reception to be held on June 5. Similar to the Office of Provost transitions in Global Initiatives (Julie Mostov) and Undergraduate Education (John DiNardo) announced last week, we will also conduct a search for the next permanent leader of the Graduate College. Until we are able to name a permanent leader for the Graduate College, I am pleased to announce that Dr. Elisabeth Van Bockstaele will serve as Interim Vice Provost of Graduate Education providing critical leadership for the Graduate College.

Effective on July 1st, Elisabeth will continue her role as Dean of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Professional Studies (reporting to the Dean of the College of Medicine) and will serve for a year as the Interim Vice Provost of Graduate Education (reporting directly to me). I have asked Dr. Van Bockstaele to work closely with me and the staff of both units to devise a plan that we might use as a blueprint that will continue to bolster the university-wide graduate enterprise.  Over these past two years, I have thoroughly enjoyed my joint work with Elisabeth, and I know that she will provide excellent leadership. You can read more about Elisabeth below but please take a moment to thank her for taking on this added responsibility and congratulate her on this new role.

Elisabeth Van Bockstaele

Elisabeth Van Bockstaele, PhD, is the founding dean of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Professional Studies in the College of Medicine at Drexel University. In addition to her position as Dean, Van Bockstaele is a neuroscientist who holds the appointment of professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Physiology. A leading expert on neural adaptations to drugs of abuse and the intersection with stress, she currently holds two R01 regular research grants as principal investigator and two other R01s as co-investigator with scientists at other academic health centers (CHOP, UMASS). Van Bockstaele has published more than 195 peer-reviewed publications, reviews, and book chapters, and more than 275 symposium proceedings. She has received numerous awards, including the Dr. Charlotte Pann Award for Excellence in Research, New York University; the Daniel Freedman Award for Best Basic Science Research, National Association for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression; the A.E. Bennett Award, Society for Biological Psychiatry; the Dean’s Citation for Advancement of Graduate Education, Thomas Jefferson University.

Prior to her arrival at Drexel in 2013, Van Bockstaele served as professor and founding director of the Graduate Program in Neuroscience as well as vice chair of research in the Department of Neurological Surgery at Thomas Jefferson University. There she oversaw the development of a curriculum that bridged basic and clinical neuroscience, and engaged clinicians in didactic coursework and as mentors of graduate students. She has consistently demonstrated commitment to providing a mentoring infrastructure that supports graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in their pursuit of research excellence as well as diverse career paths in science.

Throughout her career, Van Bockstaele has held a variety of leadership positions in grant review panels and national societies. She chaired the Membership and Chapters Committee of the international organization the Society for Neuroscience (SfN) where she oversaw the development of a five-year strategic plan to enhance member benefits and growth. She is currently serving as the Chair of the Neuroscience Training Committeeat SfN, which promotes strategies to address the education and training needs of neuroscientists at multiple career stages. She has been a member of, or chaired, several fellowship, center grant and program project study sections for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and recently completed service as chair of the standing NIH study section, Neuroimmunology, Neuroendocrinology, and Regulatory Rhythms.

Van Bockstaele received her Ph.D. in neuroscience from New York University, and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Cornell University Medical College where she also held a faculty appointment. She is a 2010 graduate of Drexel University College of Medicine’s Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine® program for women.