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Professor Norine Noonan
School of Sciences and Mathematics

Dean Norine Noonan


Noonan Guides Science & Math School
By Ashley Lydon

Most people use their college years to decide what they want to do for the rest of their lives. But as for Norine Noonan, the Dean of Mathematics and Science, she was very aware of where her life would take her from as far back as her elementary school years.

It has been a journey that has taken her to the the highest levels of the U.S. government. Hers is a resume populated with well known acronyms such as NASA, EPA, OMB. Now at C of C, Dr. Noonan heads one of the college's most dynamic schools.

From as far back as she could remember, Dr. Noonan's life has revolved around science. Noonan said, "I had a telescope, and a

microscope. I used to take a hammer and go break rocks on the front steps." Science was the main thing on her mind.

At the University of Vermont she majored in zoology and would graduate summa cum laude. She then went straight to graduate school at Princeton University where she would earn her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in cell biology.

She received her first job at the University of Florida's College of Veterinary Medicine. There she was an assistant professor and taught charter classes. This was an incredible experience for her. She was able to design many of the labs, but it was challenging being that she was only 25 years old and about half of her students were older than she was.

After eight years in Florida she earned tenure but decided it was time for a change. She moved to Washington, D.C. and was appointed as a consultant for Congress on biotechnology. Noonan also became part of the fellowship from the American Chemical Society. This job kept her out of the academic field for about 12 years. In Washington D.C. she worked on Capitol Hill for two years and worked in the White House for almost 10 years.

From there she went back to Florida to pick up where she had left off. She became the vice president for research and the dean of the graduate school of the Florida Institute of Technology. This job kept her in Florida for six years and then she again went back to Washington. There she was a presidential appointee at the Environmental Protection Agency and worked on the research and developing team.

After three more years in Washington she went to the University of Alabama for 18 months and then came to the College of Charleston. She is now in her fourth year here and has taught honors classes, as well as Biology 101.

One of Noonan's longtime colleagues, Merton Bernfield of Harvard, said of Noonan: "She pours herself into whatever she does, and in that way has marvelous experiences. She is also able to balance her many interests simultaneously, aerobics to animals to friends, but always with a considerable commitment to science with much respect for fair play and integrity."

Noonan is very dedicated to the science field, but that is not where her dedication stops. She is also an active member of the Bassett Hound Club of America. She also goes to obedience and agility trials with her poodles.

On top of all that, she still does pro-bono work for federal agencies and works on advising committees for the National Science Foundation. She also has an interest in crocheting afghans and musical theatre.

For more information on Dr. Norine Noonan, go to http://www.cofc.edu/~ssm/ssm/html_files/newdean.html