MMBio Named Associate VP/Distinguished Service Award

Microbiologist Named Associate VP


Professor Alan R. Harker Alan R. Harker, professor of microbiology and molecular biology, has been appointed as BYU’s new Associate Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies. He fills the post left by Brent W. Webb, recently appointed as Academic Vice President. 

In making the announcement, President Samuelson praised Professor Harker as “an outstanding teacher and researcher, having received awards in both areas. . . . His service [to the university and his college] has been outstanding.” Harker’s appointment began February 15, 2011.

Professor Harker has served as chair of his department and most recently as an associate dean in the College of Life Sciences. “We will really miss Alan’s wise counsel and vigorous leadership in the college,” said Dean Brown, “but we are pleased that a member of our college has been recognized in this way and will have a chance to make a significant difference at the university level. I anticipate that under his leadership, research will improve in all disciplines. Our loss (temporary as it is) is definitely the university’s gain.”

Harker received a bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry and a doctorate in biology from the University of Utah. He has been a research fellow for the US Environmental Protection Agency and a research associate at both Oregon State and Washington State Universities. Before joining the BYU faculty, he was a member of the faculty at Oklahoma State University. His research specialty is the microbial ecology and community dynamics of the Great Salt Lake.

Distinguished Service Award


Bruce and Cindy Snow EACH year, the College of Life Sciences presents its Distinguished Service Award to someone who has offered outstanding service and support to students and the university.

The college recognized Bruce M. Snow as the 2011 award recipient at the College Convocation on April 22, 2011. Bruce is the Executive Director of LDS Philanthropies and a 1970 graduate of the College of Life Sciences.

After graduating from BYU, Bruce earned a Juris Doctorate degree from Western State University College of Law in Fullerton, California. Since then, he has served in the Utah and California national guards, on both the Utah Valley and the Treasure Valley Estate Planning Councils, on the Teachers of Placentia Unified School District, as the chairman of the Orange County Anti-Pornography Board, as a member of the Executive Board of the International J. Reuben Clark Law Society, and as a mission president in Seoul, South Korea.

Since 1999, Bruce has been the Executive Director of LDS Philanthropies at BYU. During this time he oversaw the creation of the BYU and BYU-Hawaii President’s Leadership Council (PLC), the College Leadership Volunteer Councils (CVLC), and the development of the BYU Annual Fund, among other things. He and his team have raised the funds to build the Gordon B. Hinckley Alumni Building, the Indoor Practice Facility, the Student Athlete Building, the Joseph F. Smith Building, the J. Reuben Clark Law School Library addition, the BYU TV Broadcasting Building, the Gail and Larry Miller Baseball Fields, and the Milton A. Barlow Center in Washington, DC.

As Professor Rodney Brown, dean of the College of Life Sciences, expressed, “Bruce has spent his life helping others accomplish important things. His enthusiasm and cheerfulness are infectious, making everyone around him feel good.” Bruce is a natural athlete, an ardent outdoorsman, and an avid history buff. He and his wife, Cindy, are the parents of four, and the grandparents of five.