CSU professor Colleen Webb joins Graduate School leadership

CSU Colleen Webb

CSU professor Colleen Webb has been named associate dean of the Graduate School, charged with leading professional development, mentoring, and diversity and access programs.

Colleen Webb, a longtime professor, researcher, and mentor to students at Colorado State University, has stepped into a new leadership role as the associate dean of the Graduate School.

Webb, who has been in various roles at CSU since 2003, is a professor in the Department of Biology, with a joint appointment in the Department of Mathematics. She also has been member of the Graduate Degree Program in Ecology since 2003 and its director since 2017.

“Working with graduate students has always been my favorite part of my faculty job, so I am very excited to be able to join the Graduate School and interact with graduate students from all across campus,” said Webb, who began her role as associate dean on Aug. 1.

Webb will lead the Graduate School’s professional development, mentoring, and diversity and access programs for graduate students and post-doctorates. Webb will closely work with the directors of CSU Writes and the Graduate Center for Inclusive Mentoring to further support the graduate community. She also will provide administrative leadership for the graduate student admissions and graduate appeals.

“Dr. Webb’s leadership experience in directing graduate degree programs, advancing graduate professional development, and mentoring initiatives will be a tremendous asset to the Graduate School. I am excited to have her on board,” said Mary Stromberger, dean of the Graduate School.

Leadership in graduate education

For Webb, becoming associate dean is the next step in a career built on a foundation of mentoring graduate students. Early in her CSU career, she found enjoyment working with graduate students.

In her previous role as the director of the interdisciplinary Graduate Degree Program in Ecology, she worked with students and faculty from more than 23 departments on campus as well as local governmental agencies and nongovernmental organizations.

Webb has advised 19 postdoctoral fellows, nine doctoral students, and three master’s students. She served on the committees of 35 doctoral students and 12 master’s students from eight different departments at CSU.

She said she is excited to support Graduate School initiatives by applying her understanding of the challenges and rewards of interdisciplinary research as well as her strong grant writing abilities.

Mentorship and administrative leadership

Along with her appointment to the Graduate School, Webb will continue to work in her lab. Her research in disease ecology involves the prediction of disease spread in wildlife reservoirs that serve as hosts for human or domestic animal disease. The Webb Lab works to identify important drivers of disease spread in order to help inform control and management strategies.

Webb views her appointment to the Graduate School as an opportunity to combine administrative leadership of graduate programs with ongoing mentorship of students in her lab.

“I’m thankful for the opportunity to continue my research while broadening my involvement in graduate student mentoring on campus,” she said. “I also look forward to further pursuing my interests in equity and inclusion with the Graduate School.”

“I also look forward to further pursuing my interests in equity and inclusion with the Graduate School.”

– Colleen Webb, new associate dean of Graduate School

Leadership, research, and awards

Webb was a founding member and served as chair of the advisory board for the National Science Foundation funded institute, The National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS). She is the lead organizer for several programs, including the Research and Mentoring to Advance Inclusivity in STEM program (RMAIS); Student Ecology Research Program (SERP); and the Department of Biology Professional Learning Community for Women.

She also served on the advisory board for the Program in Interdisciplinary Mathematics, Ecology and Statistics (PRIMES) and was a co-principle investigator on a recently completed NSF grant that developed a transdisciplinary graduate training program in marine science and sustainability.

Webb, together with her post-doctorate researchers and students in her lab, works and publishes broadly across topics in quantitative ecology and evolution as well as in her main field of disease ecology.  She has been awarded a diverse array of internal University, federal agency, and non-governmental organization funding directly for her research program, department teaching improvements, and the GDPE program.

In 2017, Webb received the Department of Biology and the College of Natural Sciences Faculty Excellence in Graduate Teaching and Mentoring Award.