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Vrushali Bokil standing in front of shrubbery.

New associate dean announced

By Tamara Cissna

Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies Vrushali Bokil

The College of Science is pleased to announce Vrushali Bokil as the new associate dean for research and graduate studies, effective October 19. Bokil brings outstanding leadership strengths, exceptional energy and research experience, and a deep commitment to inclusive and equitable excellence in research and teaching.

A member of the Oregon State faculty since 2006, Bokil is a professor in the Department of Mathematics who has served in many leadership roles during her tenure. Bokil’s primary research interests are in the numerical solution of wave propagation problems. She is also currently working on several problems in mathematical ecology that involve the construction and analyses of deterministic and stochastic models for applications in population dynamics, epidemiology and spatial ecology. She has worked on other topics in applied mathematics, scientific computing and numerical analysis, as well. Her most recent grant is a $225K NSF-funded project, "Computational and Multi-Scale Methods for Nonlinear Electromagnetic Models in Plasmas and Nanocomposites."

Bokil previously served as associate head of the Mathematics department during 2018-2019. She was an Advance Faculty Fellow in 2018, facilitating the implementation of equity, justice and inclusivity training seminars within the College of Science. She currently serves as an OSU faculty senator and was a Faculty Senate Executive Committee member from January of 2018 to January of 2020. She also serves as a member of the Career Opportunities Committee of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics.

“I am very pleased to welcome Dr. Bokil as our Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies,” said Roy Haggerty, dean of the College of Science.

“Given Vrushali’s wide-reaching research contributions and effective collaborations with scientists and mathematicians at OSU and beyond, I am confident she will have a significant impact on the College’s research excellence, transformative educational opportunities, initiatives for faculty innovation, and productive collaborations across departments and colleges.

“I know she also will be an effective catalyst for advancing equity and inclusion for women scientists and others from historically underrepresented groups, making a positive difference in the College of Science and in Oregon State’s broad scientific community.

“I want to thank all the search committee members, including chair Elisar Barbar, head of the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, for their roles in appointing Dr. Bokil.”

As associate dean, Bokil will advocate for and provide a vision for the College’s research and graduate student educational opportunities in the College’s context as a major contributor to the educational and research mission of Oregon State University and the state of Oregon. She will contribute to day-to-day fiscal policy and budget implementation. In each and every aspect of her position, she will further the College’s commitment to enhancing diversity, equity and inclusion.

"It is my distinct pleasure to be selected to become a part of the leadership team in the College of Science and to work with Dean Haggerty in providing direction for our research and educational missions,” Bokil said. “I am particularly honored to have the opportunity to help craft policies and programs, which are evidence-based, compassionate and holistic, toward our shared mission to create a more diverse, inclusive and equitable scholarly and instructional environment."

Born and raised in India, Bokil earned her Ph.D. from the University of Houston and her master of science from New Mexico State University. She was a postdoctoral associate at North Carolina State University.

Doug Keszler, who served in this role since 2014, announced in July that he would step down. He will continue his materials science research in the Department of Chemistry.

“I want to thank Doug for his leadership and service over the last six years,” said Haggerty. “While serving in this capacity, Doug was highly instrumental in advancing the College’s research excellence and particularly in accelerating high-impact, collaborative research that addresses societal and marketplace needs. He also was effective in fostering industry partnerships with the College and connecting industry expertise with Science students.

“I know he is looking forward to having more time for research and innovation, and I am certain he will continue to mentor and inspire future chemists and entrepreneurs.”