Long-time educators, administrators become deans for engineering, graduate colleges

Contact: Deanne Puca
A headshot of Dr. Steven Butt.

Dr. Steven Butt

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Dr. Steven Butt and Dr. Christine Byrd-Jacobs have moved from roles as interim deans to permanent positions in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the Graduate College, respectively.

Prior to becoming interim dean in September 2019, Butt served as chair of both the Department of Engineering Design, Manufacturing and Management Systems and the Department of Industrial and Entrepreneurial Engineering and Engineering Management since 2014.

As a WMU administrator and professor for the past 23 years, he has not only adeptly guided students to realize their goals, he has been essential in the development of the industrial and entrepreneurial engineering program, AMP Lab @ WMU and the engineering program at Aquinas College.

Also being named to a permanent dean position is Byrd-Jacobs, who has served as interim dean of the Graduate College since May 2019. She is a professor of biological sciences and had served as the college's associate dean.

Since 2014, Byrd-Jacobs has advanced graduate education at WMU by leading the development and assessment of curricula and programs. She also coordinates the University's interdisciplinary studies doctorate program and provides oversight of the research ethics requirement for graduate students.

A headshot of Dr. Christine Byrd-Jacobs.

Dr. Christine Byrd-Jacobs

She joined WMU's Department of Biological Sciences in 1996. The focus of her research is the regeneration of the adult brain after injury, utilizing the zebrafish olfactory system as a model. She has published 27 peer-reviewed research articles, secured nearly $2 million in grant funding and served as sole investigator on four grants from the National Institutes of Health. She also has mentored 11 master's-level students, five doctoral students and 71 undergraduate students, and she has served on the thesis committees for 42 other students.

In 2008, Byrd-Jacobs received the College of Arts and Sciences Faculty Achievement Award in research.

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