In her 27 years at Carnegie Mellon, Dr. Amy Burkert has pioneered new curricular programs. She's helped create new interdisciplinary degrees. She's led a range of initiatives in the field of biological sciences. And on Aug. 1, 2010, Burkert will turn her focus to the role of Vice Provost for Education.
An assistant dean for the Health Professions Program and Educational Initiatives at the Mellon College of Science (MCS) — and a teaching professor in the Department of Biological Sciences — Burkert is an ideal match for the position.
"We are fortunate to have Amy, an enormously dedicated and talented educator, to fill this important role," Kamlet said. "She brings to the position much experience and enthusiasm as an award-winning student advisor and teaching professor in Biological Sciences and as an associate department head and dean, who's been a creator and developer of successful new courses and programs."
Fred Gilman, dean of the Mellon College of Science, agreed, calling her a great choice for vice provost for education and an invaluable member of the faculty of the Mellon College of Science.
"She excels in whatever she takes on, showing time and again that her heart is in the work of educating, advising and mentoring Carnegie Mellon students," Gilman said.
Eric Grotzinger, an associate dean in the MCS, says Burkert's love for teaching and compassion for students will serve her well in her new role.
"Whether in a traditional classroom, a roundtable discussion room, a research laboratory or an advising office, Amy strives to convey to her students a passion for learning, an enthusiasm for scientific discovery and her sincere commitment to their personal, academic and professional development," Grotzinger said. "She will bring this same passion, enthusiasm and innovation to her new job."
Burkert's innovative accomplishments include helping to create new interdisciplinary courses of study, such as the Bachelor of Science and Arts and the Science and Humanities Scholars programs.
She helped to establish the unified major in biological sciences and psychology, the biomedical engineering minor for non-engineering students and the minor in health care policy and management.
She also was on the team that developed the intercollegiate bachelor's degree program in computational biology and the master's degree program in biotechnology, policy and management.
Among other programs, Burkert was instrumental in developing the global health course Biotechnology Impacting OurSelves, Societies and Spheres (BIOS3), and collaborated with MCS colleagues to create EUREKA, a first-year seminar for MCS students that combines the disciplines of biological sciences, physics, chemistry and mathematical sciences.
She was part of the team that created the Diabetes World Service-Learning Project with Children's Hospital, which provided students in the Health Professions Program the opportunity to experience first-hand the challenges faced by patients with chronic disease.
Under her leadership, both the Health Professions Program and the undergraduate program in Biological Sciences have grown in numbers and reputation. She has developed and nurtured numerous partnerships across campus and throughout the region. Thousands of students have been impacted by her work.
It's this impact she's eager to continue in her new role, where she'll succeed the highly regarded Indira Nair, who is retiring after 32 years at Carnegie Mellon.
Burkert commented, "It is an honor to be asked to serve the university as the next Vice Provost for Education. Having worked closely with Indira for many years, I have seen the innovation, dedication, and passion she brings to the vice provost role as well as her willingness to work tirelessly to preserve our educational heritage, to embrace distinctive opportunities, to address inevitable challenges and perhaps most importantly, to envision new ways to enhance the educational experience for all of our students."
She added, "I look forward to building upon her legacy and working collaboratively to take our educational programs to even greater heights."