February 28, 2019

College of Science welcomes new department heads from Johns Hopkins and MIT

Janice Evans Janice Evans
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Senior scientists from Johns Hopkins and MIT will provide leadership for two key departments in Purdue’s College of Science beginning Friday (March 1).

Janice Evans, a biologist and professor from the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University, will become department head for Biological Sciences.

Daniel Cziczo, an atmospheric chemist and professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will become department head for Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences.

Patrick J. Wolfe, the Frederick L. Hovde Dean of Science, said of his new colleagues, “I’m incredibly proud of our recruitment of Drs. Evans and Cziczo. Both are exemplary scientists and scholars with demonstrated leadership experience, and together they will provide exactly the creative thinking necessary to advance these key Purdue departments. These appointments speak to the reputational excellence of Science at Purdue and present outstanding opportunities for even greater accomplishments.”

Daniel Cziczo Daniel Cziczo
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Purdue’s Provost Jay T. Akridge said, “We are excited to welcome Drs. Cziczo and Evans to campus, and to these important department head positions. Under the direction of Dean Wolfe, our College of Science is advancing on all fronts – teaching, research, and engagement – and these two outstanding individuals join a strong leadership team that is focused on expanding enrollment, increasing research activity and impact, and further raising the national and international profile of the college.”

Evans received her Bachelor of Science degree cum laude in biology from Davidson College and her doctoral degree in biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research addresses the biology underlying reproductive processes, and has been continuously supported by the National Institutes of Health since 1996. Her group's work identified specific molecules involved in sperm-egg interaction during fertilization, and revealed processes of the egg membrane's block to prevent fertilization by multiple sperm. Her research team's current focus is regulation of the temporal and spatial requirements of the egg's progression through meiosis. She received both the Young Andrologist Award (2006) and Distinguished Service Award (2017) from the American Society of Andrology, and is the current president of the Society for the Study of Reproduction (2018-19). 

Evans is the first woman to lead the department in its more than 100-year history. 

“I am extremely pleased to be joining Purdue University,” she said. “Both my background and my professional interests regarding higher education are aligned with the mission of a public and land-grant institution. I am very excited about helping facilitate the department's outstanding research and scholarship as well as support a rich learning environment for our students.”

Cziczo received his Bachelor of Science degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Illinois. He went on to receive his Master of Science and doctoral degrees in geophysical sciences from the University of Chicago. His research is focused on improving our understanding of the chemical and physical properties of atmospheric particles, and identifying how these properties affect the environment. While at MIT, Cziczo was the Victor Starr Career Development Chair in Atmospheric Chemistry. Among his numerous awards are the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers and a United States Department of Energy Outstanding Performance Award.

“I am tremendously excited and grateful for the opportunity to join the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences,” Cziczo said. “The Department has a rich history and an exciting future, and I look forward to taking advantage of the myriad opportunities to make an impact in this broad range of disciplines.”

Purdue’s College of Science, founded in 1907, comprises nearly 350 tenure-track faculty. It enrolls more than 1,200 graduate students and more than 4,300 undergraduates across seven departments: biological sciences; chemistry; computer science; earth, atmospheric, and planetary sciences; mathematics; physics and astronomy; and statistics. 

Writers: Jennifer Jeffries, 765-496-1682, jcjeffries@purdue.edu 

Logan Judy, 765-494-9503, ljudy@purdue.edu 

Sources: Patrick Wolfe, 765-494-1730, patrick@purdue.edu

Jay Akridge, 765-494-9709, akridge@purdue.edu

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