Rutgers announces interim executive dean of School of Environmental, Biological Sciences

Dean of Academic Programs in the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences Laura Lawson will begin her role as interim executive dean beginning July 1. 
Photo by Rutgers.eduDean of Academic Programs in the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences Laura Lawson will begin her role as interim executive dean beginning July 1. 

Rutgers University­—New Brunswick Chancellor Christopher J. Molloy sent a University-wide email today to announce Dr. Laura Lawson as interim executive dean of the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences as well as interim executive director of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES) beginning July 1. 

“I am confident that Dr. Lawson will ably lead (the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences) and NJAES in the months ahead, and I look forward to working with her in this new role,” he said, according to the email. 

Molloy said Lawson is currently a professor of landscape architecture and the dean of Academic Programs in the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, according to the email.

“In this role, Dr. Lawson has made significant contributions to (the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences), including development of campus living labs, improving the student experience, enhancing out-of-state and international undergraduate recruitment and contributing to the school’s strategic planning process,” he said, according to the email. 

Lawson first came to the University in 2010 as chair of the Department of Landscape Architecture and also served as the faculty director of Rutgers Gardens, Molloy said, according to the email. She also worked as the dean of Agriculture and Urban Programs at the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, where she was responsible for increasing urban engagement by developing new research and teaching programs that were based in the community, he said. 

Prior to working at Rutgers, Lawson was an associate professor at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, according to the email. She studied environmental science as an undergraduate at University of California, Santa Cruz and received her Master of Landscape Architecture and doctorate degrees from University of California, Berkeley.

“She is an established author and co-author who has an established reputation for her scholarship on urban agriculture, community gardens, open space and participatory design. She is currently collaborating on a project that explores African-American values and experiences in rural and urban agriculture,” Molloy said, according to the email. “As an active teacher, she has taught a range of community-based design studios and courses related to social and cultural aspects of design.”