York Alum Appointed Dead of Graduate School at Brown University

By: Graciano Clause (Editor in Chief)

Andrew Campbell, a member of the York College class of 1981 has been appointed as the next dean at Brown University’s Graduate School.

Campbell, a long-term professor of Medical Science, will begin his term July 1, succeeding Peter Weber who is the current dean of the graduate school. Campbell said he looks forward to assuming his new position taking on the responsibility that will allow him to work with graduate students in a manner that supports their scholarly work.

“I’m excited and at the same time honored,” said Campbell.  “Few people get this great opportunity to shape the educational landscape at an institution like Brown University.  It’s also an opportunity to influence the national educational landscape so that we support as many people as possible interested in pursuing advanced educational studies.”

In his new role he will oversee more than 2,000 doctoral and graduate students in 41 departments, centers and institutes, according to a release on the University’s website. As an avid researcher with an investigative focus in medical science, Campbell’s research currently serves in the Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology.

“My focus as a researcher is in studying neglected diseases of neglected people in neglected places,” said Campbell.  “Although we are becoming more global and our communities more and more diverse, not enough attention is paid to this kind of work.  

Neglected diseases eventually become new diseases too because we just haven’t given them the attention we should have in the past.  They aren’t really new, they’ve been there all along but just neglected.  Eventually they will affect us all.  One good example is Zika virus named after the Zika forest in Uganda, Africa which has been around for a while, but suddenly appears new to us.”

Campbell earned his Bachelor’s degree at York College, City University of New York in 1981, and his Doctorate in biology from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1987.

“York was a wonderful place for me,” said Campbell. “ It was a place that I grew academically and where professors gave me the attention that I needed. Faculty like Prof. Leslie Lewis, Jack Schlein and Paul Young.  My greatest memories were the friends that I made.  Three in particular were Drs. Deborah Persaud, Janet Rollins and Robert Thomas  who I am still friends with. The friends you make in college last a lifetime!”

Campbell gives back to his alma mater by serving on the college’s foundation and recruiting biology students into his program at Brown University.

“It’s a part of being civic minded and living a life of purposeful existence,” said Campbell.  “I benefitted immensely from my time at York and think now that there many more students at York just like me who just need an opportunity. I see where I am, look back and ask how can I make things easier for others.”

His efforts at recruiting students from underrepresented groups is to ensure that they have equal access to opportunities to demonstrate their gifts of intellect. “If you are still in training, think about what you really want to do and what makes you happy,” he said. “Take care of those things first and everything else will fall in place.  Sometimes hardship can motivate people to do things for the wrong reasons. be true to yourself.”

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