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About Provost Vicki Leigh Colvin

As Brown’s chief academic officer, the provost is responsible for all academic programmatic and budgetary functions within the College, the Graduate School, the School of Medicine, the School of Public Health, and the School of Engineering, as well as the libraries, research institutes, and centers. She supervises the Deans and academic Vice Presidents, oversees admission and information systems, and is the principle deputy to President Christina Paxson. The Provost provides daily management of the institution and directs overall strategic planning.

A graduate of Stanford University (chemistry and physics, 1988), Colvin earned her doctorate at the University of California–Berkeley (chemistry, 1994).

Vicki Leigh Colvin

After two years at Bell Laboratories as a postdoctoral researcher and then as a member of the technical staff, she began her academic career at Rice in 1996 as an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry.

In the year after her arrival at Rice, Colvin received a CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation, the NSF’s most prestigious award for junior faculty, intended to help some of the nation’s most promising young scientists establish their research and teaching careers. She was also honored for her undergraduate teaching, winning Rice's Phi Beta Kappa teaching award for junior faculty and the national Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award three years later.

In her research career, Colvin has authored or co-authored more than 140 journal articles or book chapters. Her work has been honored with fellowships (Sloan fellow, AAAS fellow, fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering) and recognized by consumer publications (“Best and Brightest” honoree by Esquire in 2008, “Top 20 Young Scientists to Watch” by Discover magazine in 2000). For three and a half years, she served as co-director of the Richard E. Smalley Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology at Rice, and for a decade starting in 2001 she has directed the Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology, one of NSF’s first Nanoscience and Engineering Centers.

More recently, Colvin has served on the NSF’s Advisory Committee for International Science and Engineering, chaired the National Institutes of Health’s Nanotechnology Study Section, been a member of the Intelligence Science Board, and served on editorial boards and advisory councils for a number of journals and professional organizations. She has also been an advocate for public communication about science and research, including a presentation for the Sackler Colloquium on the Science of Science Communication at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C.

“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to serve Brown’s faculty and students as provost,” Colvin said. “Brown is a place committed to integrated and interdisciplinary scholarship, and I look forward to becoming a part of its vibrant intellectual community.”



Updated: July 2014