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Saint Louis University Names Michelle Sabick New Dean of Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology

February 26, 2016
Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering, Aviation Science, Biomedical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical & Computer Engineering, Parks College News, Physics, Research

sabick350x350Michelle Sabick, Ph.D.

Michelle Sabick, Ph.D., has been named the next dean of Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology at Saint Louis University (SLU). Her appointment is effective July 1, 2016. Sabick is currently the chair of the department of biomedical engineering in Parks College — a role she has held since July 1, 2014. Prior to that, she was on the faculty of Boise State University in Idaho, where she also served as chair of the department of mechanical and biomedical engineering.

“I am thrilled to find that we have such talented leadership here at SLU,” said University Provost Nancy Brickhouse, Ph.D. “I am convinced that Michelle is the right person at the right time to lead Parks College, and to elevate its reputation and impact on our students and the world.”

Throughout her career, Sabick has been passionate about improving the ways that universities deliver engineering education to students. She has been highly involved in efforts to transform teaching practices at both SLU and Boise State, where she infused classroom lectures with more interactive and hands-on learning experiences.

At Boise State, Sabick helped launch the Center for Orthopaedic and Biomechanics Research (COBR), an interdisciplinary collaboration involving two different academic units. She also created a minor in biomedical engineering, the first in the state of Idaho.

At SLU, Sabick recently developed an accelerated degree program in engineering that will allow students in six different majors to achieve two degrees — bachelor’s and master’s — in just five years. That new program will begin enrolling students this fall.

A noted researcher, Sabick has been awarded more than $3 million in grants from the National Science Foundation. Her research interests range from the biomechanics of baseball pitching and wheelchair propulsion to the diagnosis of shoulder injuries. She also holds U.S. patents as the co-inventor of two medical devices.

As the chair of SLU’s biomedical engineering department, Sabick has made a number of contributions that extend beyond Parks College. She has served on the Faculty Senate academic affairs committee, is a member of an institution-wide gender equity task force and was recently appointed to lead a University initiative designed to enhance STEM programs at SLU.

Sabick said the University’s Jesuit mission and its focus on educating the whole person were two of the primary reasons that she came to SLU. Moving into her new leadership role at the University, she said her overriding goal is to make Parks College an even better place to learn and work.

“We have an excellent group of faculty and staff, along with amazing students in Parks College,” Sabick said. “Working together, I am confident we can enhance the educational experience of our students, advance the prestige of the college and become a major engine that drives SLU forward.”

Sabick has three degrees in biomedical engineering — a doctorate and master’s from the University of Iowa, and a bachelor’s from Case Western Reserve University. Before beginning her career in academia, she worked as a biomechanics researcher at the Steadman-Hawkins Sports Medicine Foundation in Vail, Colorado, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the department of orthopedics at the Mayo Clinic.

Sabick succeeds Steven Buckner, Ph.D., who has served as the interim dean of Parks College since June 2015. Buckner is a professor of chemistry at the University and the former chair of SLU’s chemistry

“Steve has led the college with intelligence and integrity,” Brickhouse said. “He is a highly respected leader, and I am deeply grateful for his contributions to Parks and to SLU.”

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