Stapleton named dean of WMU Graduate College

contact: Cheryl Roland
| WMU News
Photo of Dr. Susan .


KALAMAZOO--Dr. Susan Stapleton, an internationally recognized scientist who has served as mentor to scores of high school, undergraduate and graduate students, has been named dean of Western Michigan University's Graduate College, effective May 15.

Stapleton, who holds a joint appointment as professor of both chemistry and biological sciences, has been a faculty member at WMU since 1990. For the past five years, she has served as associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

"Dr. Stapleton has a long track record of working with students and guiding them through the research, publication and degree achievement process," says Dr. Timothy Greene, provost and vice president for academic affairs. "To this new role, she brings a deep level of knowledge about and a commitment to our University. These are all qualities that will advantage our students and the Graduate College."

Susan Stapleton

A scientist with a long history of research funded by the nation's top health science organizations, Stapleton's expertise is in the area of understanding the regulation of carbohydrate and fatty acid metabolism, including the relationship to metabolic disorders such as diabetes. She has been the recipient of major research awards from the Diabetes Research and Education Foundation, the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation.

In recent years, she has engaged students from WMU and other institutions in research training opportunities through her longstanding role as program director for an NSF-funded Research Experience for Undergraduates program and as project director for the recently funded Howard Hughes Medical Institute Undergraduate Science Education Award. As a WMU faculty member, she has welcomed students--from high school through the graduate level--into her laboratory, and has served as the research advisor for five students who have completed their doctoral degrees and 16 students who have completed their master's degrees.

Stapleton's expertise and professional input is continually sought by colleagues around the nation, and she has served on review panels and as an ad hoc reviewer for various federal and private funding agencies. She reviews manuscripts for numerous journals, including Biochemical Journal, Biochemical Pharmacology, Diabetologia, Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, and the Journal of Nutrition. In addition, she has served on the editorial boards of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education and on the Educational and Professional Development Committee of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

Stapleton earned a bachelor's degree from Juniata College in 1979 and a Ph.D. in chemistry from Miami University in 1983. From there, she went on to complete postdoctoral work at the University of Wisconsin, Madison; at Case Western Reserve University, where she held first a National Institutes of Health Developmental Biology Traineeship and then an American Heart Association Postdoctoral Fellowship; and at the University of Iowa.

In 2007, she received the Michigan Society for Medical Research, Educational Leadership Award and in 2010-11 served as an American Council on Education Fellow.

WMU's Graduate College

WMU's Graduate College serves more than 5,000 students--20 percent of WMU's total enrollment of 25,086. The college supports WMU's 101 graduate degree programs, including 30 at the doctoral level.

Visit the WMU Graduate College online at