Dr. Kim Risley Approved as Lichty Chair in Biology

November 07, 2012

ALLIANCE, Ohio — Dr. Kim Risley, associate professor of biology and chair of the Department of Biology at the University of Mount Union, was recently approved by the University’s Board of Trustees as the new Milton J. Lichty Chair in Biology.

The appointment was made by Mount Union president Dr. Richard F. Giese, who consulted with other faculty members and Dr. Patricia Draves, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the University. The nomination was then approved by the Board of Trustees at the October 12 meeting.

The endowed chair provides an annual allowance for activities that will support professional growth in a faculty member’s discipline. Activities are chosen by the endowed chair and must ultimately benefit the faculty member’s students and the University of Mount Union. Activities may include conference travel, research supplies or sabbatical expenses.

A member of the Mount Union faculty since 2004, Risley earned a Bachelor of Science degree in microbiology from North Dakota State University and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in microbiology and immunology from East Carolina University Brody School of Medicine. Prior to coming to Mount Union, she worked as an assistant professor of biology at Hope College.

While at Mount Union, Risley has received research funding for a UV-Vis spectrophotometer, for faculty development to clone two herpesvirus genes into a yeast expression vector and for a multi-well plate reader. She is a 2011 recipient of the Ohio Branch of the American Society of Microbiology’s “Microbiology Educator Award.”

Risley has been involved in numerous science and math teaching and research workshops and supervises students in independent research projects and microbiology and molecular biology team research projects.

She is a member of the Ohio Branch of the American Society for Microbiology; Blue Key National Honor Fraternity; Beta Beta Beta Biological Society; National Science Teachers Association; and American Society for Microbiology. Risley is also a member of the Chemical Hygiene subcommittee, which ensures research safety for Mount Union faculty, staff and students.

The Milton J. Lichty Chair was established during a 1918 capital campaign but was not fully funded until 1996 through the generosity of the late Hazel L. Johnson ’35. The chair is named for Major Milton J. Lichty 1892, said to be the first Mount Union man to die in World War I. The Lichty Chair was held by legendary professor Joseph Mehollin Scott from 1918 through 1945.

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