Sarah Church to become senior associate vice provost for undergraduate education

Church, who will assume her new role Sept. 1, succeeds Stanford biology Professor Elizabeth A. "Liz" Hadley, who will complete her three-year term on Aug. 31.

Stanford physics Professor Sarah Church will become the senior associate vice provost for undergraduate education on Sept. 1. Harry J. Elam Jr., vice provost for undergraduate education, recently announced the appointment.

Professor Sarah Church

Professor Sarah Church (Image credit: L.A. Cicero)

Elam said Church will assist and advise him on the management of the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education (VPUE ) and on additional matters related to undergraduate education across campus.

Church chaired the Committee on Undergraduate Standards and Policies from 2013-2016, which in recent years has developed the pilot program for the joint majors program and new policies governing coterminal master’s degrees. She served on the ad hoc committee that designed Stanford’s new course-evaluation form.

In 2015-16, she served as a member of the Board on Judicial Affairs, which is part of the Office of Community Standards, and as a member of the Undergraduate Advisory Council, which is part of VPUE. Currently, Church is a member of the 2016-17 Introductory Seminars Advisory Board.

Church, who joined Stanford’s faculty in 1999, served as the director of the Hansen Experimental Physics Laboratory from 2013-2016 and the deputy director of the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology from 2007-2011.

Her research is focused on understanding how galaxies are formed and how they are evolving. As part of this effort, the Church Group is building an experiment to map the large-scale distribution of highly redshifted carbon monoxide.

Church also is leading the Argus experiment, a 16-pixel radio spectrometer at the 100-meter Green Bank Telescope in Green Bank, West Virginia – the world’s largest, fully steerable radio telescope – that will investigate star formations in nearby galaxies and our own.

In 2014, Stanford named Church the Pritzker University Fellow in Undergraduate Education in recognition of her extraordinary contributions to undergraduate education.

Elam said he is very excited that Church is joining VPUE in the fall.

“During her time at Stanford, Sarah has been deeply involved in the betterment of undergraduate education through her service and leadership on various university committees as well as in nurturing young scientists in her lab,” Elam said.

AT VPUE, Church will continue to support equity in the classroom for women and underrepresented minority students, especially in early introductory courses that serve as gateways to the majors.

Church will succeed biology Professor Elizabeth A. “Liz” Hadly, who will complete her three-year term on Aug. 31. Hadly will become the faculty director of the Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve on Sept. 1.

“I would like to thank Liz for her leadership over the last three years and her tireless work on behalf of our undergraduates,” Elam said. “She has been a champion in ensuring that all of our students, regardless of major, have the opportunity to take part in one or more of the many experiential and immersive programs that Stanford offers.”