April 2, 2020
Dear Members of the Rutgers–New Brunswick Community,
I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Laura Lawson as Interim Executive Dean of the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences (SEBS) and Interim Executive Director of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES) effective July 1, 2020.
Dr. Lawson is currently a professor of landscape architecture and serves as the Dean of Academic Programs at SEBS. In this role, Dr. Lawson has made significant contributions to SEBS, including development of campus living labs, improving the student experience, enhancing out-of-state and international undergraduate recruitment, and contributing to the school’s strategic planning process.
Joining the Rutgers family in 2010 as chair of the Department of Landscape Architecture, Dr. Lawson later held roles as the Faculty Director of Rutgers Gardens and Dean of Agriculture and Urban Programs at SEBS where she was responsible for the expansion of urban engagement through new programs and academic community-based research and teaching. Prior to joining Rutgers, Dr. Lawson was an associate professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She is an established author and co-author who has an established reputation for her scholarship on urban agriculture, community gardens, open space, and participatory design. She is currently collaborating on a project that explores African-American values and experiences in rural and urban agriculture. As an active teacher, she has taught a range of community-based design studios and courses related to social and cultural aspects of design.
Dr. Lawson holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and an MLA and Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.
I am confident that Dr. Lawson will ably lead SEBS and NJAES in the months ahead, and I look forward to working with her in this new role. I also remain extremely grateful to Executive Dean Bob Goodman for his outstanding leadership of SEBS and NJAES during his tenure.
Christopher J. Molloy, Ph.D.
Chancellor, Rutgers University–New Brunswick