Notable Leaders in Higher Education: Cheryl Bailey

Class of 2023

  • Category: Notable Leaders in Higher Education
  • Number of years working in your current industry: 25
  • Undergrad degree/university: 1990 B.A. Biochemistry, Carver College of Medicine, University of Iowa
  • Graduate degree/university: 1999 Ph.D. Biochemistry, Carver College of Medicine, University of Iowa

Cheryl Bailey, Ph.D., dean of the school of natural and health sciences and education at Mount Mary University in Milwaukee, became hooked on science after viewing trypanosome parasites swimming under a microscope. Once she began teaching, she found the same joy in helping students learn about the natural world, said Isabelle Cherney, president of Mount Mary. 

Bailey has served as dean since 2014. She joined Mount Mary with experience as a program officer at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Maryland, associate professor at the University of Nebraska—Lincoln, and senior scientist at Promega Corp. in Madison. Bailey also serves as chair of the education and professional development committee for the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

In addition, she led the development of several federal grants involving curriculum innovation, student support services and university infrastructure. These efforts have secured more than $17 million in federal and foundation grant awards since 2018. 

“Motivated by her passion for science, Cheryl has dedicated her career to providing opportunities and removing barriers for students to pursue their professional, personal and community lives,” said Cherney.

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