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New Science Advisory Board brings expertise to campus as Flagler builds its science programs

Oct 15, 2020

On Sept. 16, the Office of Institutional Advancement hosted a hybrid model meeting to introduce Dean of the School of Humanities and Sciences Melissa Southwell, along with other science faculty, to the new Science Advisory Board. Those in attendance included representatives from Northrop Grumman, NASA, Gwanda, Bayfront Marine, LAN Associates, Carter Environmental Services, North Florida Land Trust and St. Johns River Water Management District, as well as a tech company, dentist, radiologists and environmental consultants.

Flagler College President Joseph G. Joyner shared an update on the strategic plan and Vice President of Institutional Advancement Kristy Myers continued with an overview: To further advance the sciences, a biology major has been approved and will be added to the curriculum. Two students from the coastal environmental science program also attended and shared their experiences about the unique opportunity to engage in scientific research as undergraduates. Some of their research includes data collection for saltwater marsh habitats in St. Augustine and conservation of the critically endangered Central American river turtle in Belize.

The mission of the board is to “Serve as the principal connection between the science community and the Department of Natural Sciences at Flagler College.” The members are to also assist the college in fundraising efforts directly related to improving the science-based programming and guiding and mentoring students interested in science-related fields in the trends and competitive job skills for their future career paths.

The first science program at Flagler College was established by Barbara Blonder and Terri Seron in 2008, with the creation of the environmental science minor. Since then, the coastal environmental science major has rapidly become a signature program at Flagler, and is currently the third largest major at the college. A biology minor was established in 2017, and in 2020 the coastal environmental science curriculum was revised and the degree converted to a Bachelor of Science.

“We could not be more thrilled to work with our new science advisory board members,” said Melissa Southwell, associate professor of natural sciences and dean of the School of Humanities and Sciences. “They possess a wide variety of scientific expertise, and they bring a wealth of real-world knowledge and experience that will help prepare our students for twenty-first century careers in science. It’s an exciting moment in the development of our program!”   

Other boards include the Business Advisory Board, Hospitality and Tourism, LEAD Fund, Parents Leadership Council, Women of Vision, Alumni Board, Saints Club Advisory Board and also new to launch is the Visual and Performing Arts Board.

For information on how to get involved with Flagler College’s Science Advisory Board, please contact the Office of Institutional Advancement by calling 904.819.6406 or emailing Nicole Pece at  

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