During her thirteen years as an assistant to the chair of the Exercise Sciences department, Sharron Collier has had the opportunity to work with four different chairs, diverse faculty, and a multitude of under- graduate and graduate students. They would tell you that she is a great example of staff dedication and service at BYU.
“When I first got the job, “ she jokes, “I was warned that I might encounter a difficult personality once in a while, but I never found that to be true. I just like people.” Her love of people and her kind service to them have been honored with two very prestigious awards: the Presidents’ Appreciation Award in 2008 and the Staff and Administrative Employee Recognition Award in 2010.
One of the things that Collier loves about BYU is the kindness of faculty and students. For example, there have been times when she has had difficulty getting to and from her workplace, and students or faculty have never failed to lend an arm or go out of their way to help her. To all of the BYU community, she says, “Thank you for your kindness and friendship.”
Although Collier is retiring, she will not be leaving BYU completely. She will work part-time as the secretary for Student Wellness. Being part-time will give her more time to do other things that she wants to do, such as serving at the Provo Temple, being a service missionary at the American Fork Literacy Center, teaching free piano lessons to children whose parents are unable to pay, and spending more time with her family.
The Department of Biology says a fond farewell to retiring Professor Rex G. Cates, who has been a member of the faculty for 26 years. His list of accomplishments over that time is lengthy.
Dr. Cates taught many classes for the department, the most popular of which has been Biology 100—year after year he has helped numerous students appreciate the marvelous biological world of which they are a part. He also mentored individual students. He received funding for several ORCA and General Education grants to involve undergraduates in his research and has directed students in working on Honors theses.
His research has been published in such peer-reviewed journals as the International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, Ecology, American Naturalist, Pharmaceutical Biology, and Biogeochemistry. He also published technical reports and workbooks, including Biology: Principles and Applications, which was used in Biology 100 classes. He has been funded by the National Science Foundation, US Department of Agriculture Competitive Grants, National Park Service, and the US Forest Service.
Over the years, Dr. Cates has provided service to the department, college, and university as a member of such committees as the College of Life Sciences Scholarship Committee, the Biological Science Education Committee, the Faculty Advisory Council, Graduate Council, and the University Forum Committee.
His contributions have been recognized with many awards. The university awarded him the prestigious Karl G. Maeser Professorship in General Education. The College of Biology and Agriculture (predecessor to the current College of Life Sciences) presented him the College Research and Creative Achievement Award. And he was selected by BYU graduates as a member of the Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society.
Dr. Cates has been a productive scholar, a classroom wizard, a demanding mentor, and a friendly colleague; a truly notable career.