Weatherspoon selected as Associate Dean for Undergraduate and Graduate Student Affairs
On July 25, 2023, Gerald L. R. Weatherspoon joined the College of Science Dean’s leadership team as the Associate Dean for Undergraduate and Graduate Student Affairs. A well-known leader and scholar within the Mason community, he will provide leadership, vision, advocacy, and oversee execution for the college’s Office of Student Affairs.
Weatherspoon joined Mason in 1996 as a tenure track assistant professor. For the past seven years, he served as Chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Under his leadership, the department’s doctoral program is now ranked in U.S. News & World Report, a materials chemistry concentration for undergraduates has been approved; a science and policy certificate for graduate students has been approved by SCHEV; a chemistry capstone course for undergraduates has been recently approved; a full-time undergraduate coordinator with a science and education background has been hired to focus on recruitment, retention, and degree completion issues; undergraduate and graduate student attendance at scientific conferences has increased exponentially; and placement of bachelor's degree awardees in Tier-1 doctoral programs nationwide is the new norm.
Prior to his role as chair of the department, Weatherspoon served as Associate Chair for eight years. In addition, he also served as GTA Coordinator, General Chemistry Lab Coordinator, Scheduling Coordinator, Grading Coordinator, and Chair for the Curriculum Committee.
Weatherspoon has a record of service and educational activities that are student centric. The following is a brief listing: Mason Inclusive Excellence Council, Mason ARIE Task Force, Mason Teaching Excellence Awards Selection Committee, College of Science Scholarship Committee, LSEB Planning Committee, Faculty advisor to multiple student organizations, sponsoring student travel to scientific conferences, STEM Bootcamp, Academic Program Review, and working with EIP for summer chemistry lab experiences.
“I have learned invaluable lessons by working with leadership as we navigated unchartered waters, while addressing some extremely complex student-centric matters that required engagement of multiple university entities,” Weatherspoon explained. “Being open to learning about processes and proper procedures keep me grounded; interacting with undergraduate and graduate students keep me focused on our purpose for being at the university; advocating for students and understanding next generation needs/preparation energizes me to press through the clouds.
Weatherspoon has received internal and external awards and recognition related to teaching and service. In Spring 2021, Weatherspoon received the Mason Presidential Medal for Faculty Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion. He also received a Teaching Excellence Award in 2015 and a Celebration of Learning –1999 Faculty Teaching Award. External to Mason, Weatherspoon has received leadership and mentoring awards from Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Incorporated and other civic organizations.
“After all, it is all about preparing the next generation to succeed. We should never provide a ‘product/program/course/engagement’ that we would not want our own family members to participate in----best performance of duty… always.” Weatherspoon said.