BOONE, N.C. — Dr. Michael “Mike” Madritch has been named associate dean of Appalachian State University’s College of Arts and Sciences (CAS). Beginning May 1, he will serve alongside Dr. Mark Bradbury, the college’s other associate dean and a professor of public administration.
Madritch will be filling the role currently held by Dr. Dru Henson, who will retire at the end of the spring 2020 semester after more than 33 years of service to Appalachian — 14 as CAS associate dean.
“Mike will be a great addition to the CAS dean team. He brings experience in curriculum, facilities and seats management, as well as knowledge that he will be able to contribute to larger conversations about STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and general education. His previous leadership experience in such a large department will help him hit the ground running,” said CAS Dean Neva J. Specht.
Madritch joined the Department of Biology at Appalachian in 2009 as an assistant professor and was promoted to full professor in 2019. He has served as assistant chair for the Department of Biology since 2015, focusing on faculty administration.
His primary research focus has been on linking aboveground forest biodiversity and canopy chemistry with belowground ecosystem processes. In addition, portions of his work highlight the particular biodiversity of the southern Appalachian region, including cliff systems as individual islands of regional biodiversity and restoration of the American chestnut tree.
Madritch has secured funding through competitive federal grant-funding organizations, including the National Science Foundation (NSF) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), for his biodiversity research, and has served on an advisory board for the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON).
On campus, Madritch has worked closely with experts in Facilities Operations to maintain Appalachian’s Tree Campus USA certification, granted by the National Arbor Foundation. He also works with colleagues across campus to advise on the management of multiple university landholdings.
Madritch grew up in North Carolina and earned undergraduate degrees in biology, biochemistry and chemistry from North Carolina State University. He earned a Ph.D. in ecology from the University of Georgia before completing postdoctoral work at the University of Wisconsin. He is a graduate of the 2018–19 Chancellor’s Academic Leadership Development Program.
He has served as a handling editor of Oecologia, an international peer-reviewed journal that publishes innovative ecological research (2009–15), as a member on the NASA Biodiversity and Ecological Forecasting Team (2009–14) and as a past NASA and NSF panelist member.
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About the College of Arts and Sciences
The College of Arts and Sciences is home to 16 academic departments, one stand-alone academic program, two centers and one residential college. These units span the humanities and the social, mathematical and natural sciences. The College of Arts and Sciences aims to develop a distinctive identity built upon our university's strengths, traditions and unique location. The college’s values lie not only in service to the university and local community, but through inspiring, training, educating and sustaining the development of its students as global citizens. There are approximately 6,100 student majors in the college. As the college is also largely responsible for implementing Appalachian's general education curriculum, it is heavily involved in the education of all students at the university, including those pursuing majors in other colleges. Learn more at https://cas.appstate.edu.
About Appalachian State University
As the premier public undergraduate institution in the state of North Carolina, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The Appalachian Experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and to embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. Appalachian enrolls more than 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.