Page 13 - summer08

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The Woods
Dr. Mary Spratt, professor of biology at William Woods University,
was named the Cox Distinguished Professor in Science in January. The
Clark Cox Trust established the Clark and Mildred Cox Distinguished
Professorship position, and Spratt is the frst recipient of the award.
To be eligible, faculty are required to hold a Ph.D. and have a full-time
appointment in chemistry, biology, physics, mathematics or geology/
physical geography. They must have a specifc research activity that
involves at least one student in a mentor-mentee relationship.
Spratt will be given release time of six hours per semester to work
on research. Funding up to $6,000 per year is available to support
equipment, supplies and materials associated with the research, as
well as travel and expenses, and technical, clinical and laboratory
consultations that may be required. A stipend of $500 will also be
awarded to the student assistant each semester.
“I am thrilled to be the recipient of this award. It will be a wonderful
opportunity to have more time for research,” Spratt said.
I always involve students... One of the great advantages
of attending a small school is that students can participate
research using cutting-edge equipment and
technology normally available only to graduate
students in large universities.
~ Dr. Spratt
Over the past several years, Spratt has worked to collect and analyze
tick DNA from more than 35 Missouri counties. This year Spratt and
WWU were accepted into the Genomics Education Partnership based
at Washington University and the Genome Center in St. Louis. The project
gives undergraduate students the opportunity to study genetic codes and
genes in living organisms and to make substantive contributions to the
study of genomics.
Spratt earned a bachelor degree in biology and English from St. Olaf
College, a master’s degree in biology at St. Mary’s College, and a
master’s and doctorate degree in physiology and cell biology at the
University of Kansas. She is also a national expert on tick research
and collaborated with the U.S. Navy to study the topic.
A WWU professor for 15 years, Spratt also serves as chief editor of
sections of MicrobeLibrary: “Microorganisms in the environment”
and “Microbial Evolution and Diversity.”