Science, teaching and mentorship earn Gasparich dean’s position

Former Fisher College of Science and Mathematics Associate Dean Gail Gasparich has always been a powerhouse.

“I can still hear her fast-paced heels clicking down the hallway before she would
enter the lab,” said April Marcangeli ’12, who studied with Gasparich while earning
her master’s degree in biology and molecular ecology. “She seemed to do everything
at that pace.”

Now Gasparich is taking that energy to Salem State University as dean of the College
of Arts and Sciences.

Part of Towson University’s faculty for 20 years, Gasparich has taught a wide range
of undergraduate, graduate, and honors courses. She’s also been a firm supporter of
student research, mentoring seven M.S. graduates like Marcangeli, and more than 70
undergraduates. Many of her 45 peer-reviewed journal articles were co-authored by
TU students. Gasparich has also guided 10 high school students.

“She was, and still is, a role model in terms of diligence, mentoring, and ability
to multitask efficiently,” said Dr. Mayokun Demehin, now a dentist in Baltimore. “It
not only helped me through Towson but through dental school, residency, and now in
my professional career.”

Gasparich, who joined TU in 1996, has also served as faculty athletics representative
and, most recently, as acting assistant provost.

“The impact she had in this office, the Fisher College of Science and Mathematics,
and Towson University will be sorely missed—along with her infectious laugh,” said
Vice Provost S. Maggie Reitz.

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The laugh was the lighter-hearted part of a woman who has led in science since the
beginning of her career, winning research and training grants totaling more than $4
million and garnering invitations for more than 100 talks and presentations on research,
STEM career paths, STEM diversity, and professional development.

Nationally and internationally, she has served on the national board of the Association
for Women in Science and as treasurer of the International Organization of Mycoplasmology.
She is a member of the diversity committee of Sigma Xi. She has also served as division
chair for the American Society of Microbiology. In 2013, she received the President’s
Diversity Award.

“Gail brought a level of enthusiasm to her work that is infectious,” said Provost
Timothy J. L. Chandler, “and her capacity for work is almost unlimited.”

Gasparich’s high-level achievements no doubt led her to her new position at Salem
State, but the combination of her scientific excellence and her mentorship strengths
are what stick with her former students.

“Dr. Gasparich became the greatest female role model and mentor I’ve ever had,” said
Marcangeli. “She always treated me like a colleague and respected my thoughts and
ideas. She was an advocate for good science, but I also knew she always had my back.”


Dr. Demehin agreed. “Next to my parents, she had a positive impact on me more than
anyone else.”

Gasparich credits TU for helping her grow as a teacher, scholar, mentor and administrator.
“I have only the fondest thoughts for my time as a member of the Towson University
community and wish only the best for TU in the future,” she said.

Gasparich plans to use her new position at Salem State to increase student success
and diversity, and to provide faculty development to enhance recruitment and retention. 

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