France, Knapp Appointed to New Posts at W&L
Washington and Lee University has announced new appointments in the administration.
- Marcia France, associate dean of the College and the John T. Herwick M.D. Professor of Chemistry, will become associate provost.
- Elizabeth Knapp, associate provost and professor of geology, will transition to a full-time role as director of the Johnson Program in Leadership and Integrity.
Washington and Lee Interim Provost Marc Conner announced the appointments, which are effective July 1.
France began her career at W&L in 1994. She holds an S.B. in chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an M.S. in chemistry from Yale University, and a Ph.D. in chemistry from the California Institute of Technology. She helped develop and serves as co-director of W&L’s partnership with the University of St. Andrews, in Scotland, which provides a study-abroad opportunity for W&L students studying science and preparing to enter a health profession. She also created and teaches the Science of Cooking course in Italy. As associate dean of the College, France oversees W&L’s first-year seminar program, chairs the Futures of STEM Pedagogy Committee, and serves on the International Education Committee. She also coordinates undergraduate and graduate fellowship applications for students.
As associate provost, France will lead a number of university-wide initiatives, including student summer opportunities and the Summer Research Scholars program. She will co-chair, along with the director of Human Resources, the University Committee on Inclusiveness and Campus Climate (UCICC), the university’s central committee on diversity and inclusiveness. She will continue to support and grow STEM projects, and take a leading role in curricular reform, student projects and faculty initiatives.
“I am honored to be invited to serve W&L as associate provost,” said France. “I have truly enjoyed my time as associate dean of the College, and I am looking forward to expanding my role to support all three divisions of the university. I am excited to work with Marc and other colleagues across the university to ensure that we continue to provide the best possible programs and opportunities for our students and faculty as we look to the future.”
“Marcia has been so effective as associate dean of the College. Now she has an opportunity to broaden that administrative work in a university-wide context in the provost’s office,” said Conner. “I’m very excited to be able to work with her in many important areas of academic affairs. There is a lot of important work ahead, and I’m confident Marcia will be a great addition to the office.”
A 1990 graduate of Washington and Lee, Knapp returned to her alma mater as assistant professor of geology in 1997 after receiving her Ph.D. in environmental science from the University of Virginia. She teaches courses in geochemistry, hydrology and biogeochemistry. She has also taught courses on the geology of Hawaii and the geology of the Pyrenees. Her research has focused on low-temperature aqueous geochemistry, geochemical evolution and paleoclimate, aquifer redox chemistry, and iron geochemistry.
In addition to her teaching and research in the Geology Department, she served as associate dean of the College from 2006 to 2010, as associate provost from 2011 to 2013 and 2016 to the present, and as senior assistant to former President Kenneth P. Ruscio from 2013 to 2016. She has been director of the Johnson Program in Leadership and Integrity since 2013.
Knapp now serves as chair of the Community Engagement and Service Learning Advisory Committee, the University Sustainability Committee, the History of African-Americans Working Group, and co-chair of UCICC. She is a member of the Automatic Rule and Reinstatement Committee, the Environmental Studies Program Advisory Committee, the Healthy Campus Culture Committee, and the STEM Pedagogy Working Group.
In her new role, Knapp will focus on the Johnson Program and the 160 or so students who have won the university’s major scholarship competition. She will continue to administer the Johnson endowment, which helps each Johnson Scholar conduct special summer projects and research, and will enhance the program so that it can realize even greater potential. She will continue to chair the University Sustainability Committee and will lead the task force for the selection of the Quality Enhancement Plan, an important element in Washington and Lee’s reaffirmation of accreditation. She will also teach one to two geology courses per year.
“I am grateful to have served the university in many capacities over the years,” said Knapp. “I look forward to the opportunity to enhance the Johnson Program in Leadership and Integrity, to lead additional campus-wide initiatives, and to continue in my role as a faculty member.”
“Elizabeth has played a significant role in W&L’s administration for a decade now. Her experience and skills are widely recognized,” said Conner. “She’s been a key figure in the dean’s office, the provost’s office, and the president’s office. This new role recognizes her unique talents and will enable her to continue to strengthen the Johnson Program. The QEP selection is of immense importance to the university, and her abilities to reach the entire university community will be a great asset in that project.”