Mary Galvin replaces Crawford as COS dean
Emma Borne | Tuesday, September 1, 2015
In the third grade, Dr. Mary Galvin said, she was told that she was not college material; last month, she succeeded Dr. Gregory Crawford as the William K. Warren Foundation Dean of the College of Science.
A chemistry major who spent her undergraduate career at Manhattanville College in Purchase, New York, Galvin said she tried graduate school for chemistry but left and decided to study polymers and materials science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Though her interest in science began in high school, she said MIT cultivated her love for the subject, specifically for materials.
“It was … at MIT that I realized science was very interdisciplinary,” Galvin said. “It involved communicating with people, going to meetings. … I liked that aspect of science that people are unaware of. You really meet people from across the globe, and science unites you.”
Galvin said her favorite aspect of science is that it is open to everyone.
“I grew up very poor, one of seven children. My father had not finished ninth grade, but they wanted all of us to go to college, and we did,” Galvin said. “And science is an area that you can come from any background, and if you work hard and have talent, you can go really far in science. … There is a meritocracy in science that to me is very attractive.”
Galvin took at job at Bell Laboratories after MIT and stayed there for 14 years, she said. From there, she spent eight years developing a materials science department at the University of Delaware. She has also worked for Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., and the National Science Fund.
Galvin started the next phase of her career Aug. 17, as Dean of the College of Science at Notre Dame.
“This a special place,” Galvin said. “I was impressed with the University’s commitment to science and to engineering and to research and how that can enhance undergraduate education, how it can make a difference in solving many of the problems we face in society from health to energy to sustainability.”
Galvin said she believes she is a good fit for the dean position because she has dealt with different disciplines that fall under the College and that she hopes she can use the position to have a positive effect on students and faculty.
“Really what I want to do is work with the faculty, who are very talented, to allow them to reach the dreams that they and the administration have set for being a really top research university,” she said.