Coming into this school year, Dr. Mark Beekey has seen his role within the community expand. A former professor of biology, Beekey has accepted the position of Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.
Since joining the Sacred Heart University faculty in 2005, Beekey has received numerous grants for his research on aquatic ecology, including grants from the Connecticut State Department of Education and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. Project Limulus, one of Beekey’s research designs, is a community-driven plan that focuses on the ecological impact of horseshoe crabs living on Long Island Sound.
Furthering his experience in research and education was something Beekey knew he wanted to carry out beyond his own college years.
“I knew during the last two years in college that I wanted to teach at the college level and spend time conducting research on ecological questions,” said Beekey.
After graduating from Juniata College with a bachelor’s degree in ecology, Beekey found himself pursuing a master’s degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Delaware. After completing his own education, Beekey shifted his focus to helping SHU students do the same.
“I hope I have brought my love of learning to students here at SHU,” said Beekey.
Beekey noted the importance of diversifying knowledge in college, no matter what a student’s major may be.
“Even though I was a science major, the liberal arts were a significant part of our overall education,” said Beekey.
Beekey found ways to grow into this position, despite any fears or doubt he may have had.
“Initially, I was very hesitant about taking on the interim position when I was first asked,” said Beekey. “That didn’t last long as it became very clear that this position had the ability to help even more students succeed than my role as a faculty member in the department of biology.”
Beekey has not only impacted his students, but his students have also impacted him.
“In many ways, being a scientist has truly prepared me for this role. Experiments produce results, and those results may not always be what you hypothesized, but those data can still teach you something and you can learn from them,” said Beekey.
“He is very enthusiastic because of the energy he brings,” said senior Alana Felix. “He reaches out automatically and wants to see every student succeed.”
Felix is not the only student whose SHU experience has been impacted by Beekey.
“I admire how Dean Beekey is extremely dedicated to his students and is always there to help them when they need it most, even if it means after-hour calls, late night emails or random visits to his office,” said senior Tinamarie Dadic.
Beekey grew to embrace his new position within the school community while continuing to support his students.
“I could now spread my love of learning across many more departments. My goal is to help students succeed,” said Beekey.
Ever since coming to Sacred Heart, Beekey has learned that academic achievement looks different for each individual student.
“Success can be measured in many small steps,” said Beekey.