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April 2006

Release Date: April 19, 2006

New Dean of Sciences Named at Angelo State

Dr. Grady Price Blount, assistant vice president for research and associate graduate dean at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, will become the dean of the College of Sciences at Angelo State University, effective July 15.

In making the appointment, ASU Provost and Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs Donald V. Coers said Blount brings a broad background in teaching, research, community outreach and higher education administration to the position.

"Dr. Blount is a team builder with the full range of skills necessary to build upon our existing strengths in the College of Sciences and to expand our programs to attract more students and greater research funding," Coers said.

Blount will succeed Dr. David H. Loyd as Dean of the College of Sciences. Loyd is returning to the faculty after a decade as dean to resume full-time teaching duties. Loyd is a professor of physics.

The new dean has a varied background, including a decade in broadcast journalism with radio and television stations in Corpus Christi and Austin, where he created the StarDate radio program in the 1970s. He began his full-time teaching career in 1988 with the University of North Dakota where he was a founding faculty member in the institution's space studies program. He joined A&M-CC in 1993.

He served for 11 years as the chair of the Department of Physical and Life Sciences at A&M-CC where he is a professor of environmental science and geology. He also coordinates the institution's Ph.D. program in coastal and marine system science. Additionally, he is part of the management team for the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies and executive director of the National Spill Control School, the congressionally-mandated center providing professional training for first responders in hazardous materials operations.

Trained as a planetary geologist, he is the author or co-author of more than 40 academic publications or presentations. His work has covered a wide range of interdisciplinary topics, including studies of deserts on Earth and Mars, planetary geophysics, remote sensing spectroscopy and security issues surrounding access to satellite images.

Blount, who is a first-generation college graduate, said his primary focus has evolved into academic administration with an emphasis on faculty professional development and creating an atmosphere of excellence for student learning.

"We're in the business of creating new knowledge," he said. The most important thing we have to share with our students is a passion for learning."

Blount has generated more than $22 million in external funding, including almost $4 million in research funding from the National Science Foundation, NASA, the USDA, the Mexican Petroleum Institute, the Eisenhower Foundation and the Office of Naval Research.

He earned a B.S. in geology from Corpus Christi State University, a M.S. in geology from Sul Ross State University and a Ph.D. with the planetary geology group at Arizona State University. In 2005 he completed the Management Development Program at Harvard University.

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