Elizabeth S. Boylan

Senior Fellow

  • Elizabeth S. Boylan has directed the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s programs on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in STEM Higher Education since 2011.  She has been responsible for the current major grants supporting the University Centers of Exemplary Mentoring in the Sloan Minority PhD Program as well as the Sloan Indigenous Graduate Partnership.  These two scholarship programs serving historically underrepresented minority graduate students at 16 research universities carry forward the Foundation’s long-standing commitments in this area. She will serve as Senior Fellow of the Sloan Higher Education program for the remainder of 2020, and retire from the Foundation at the end of the year.

    In 2014, Dr. Boylan was elected to the Board of Directors of the Teagle Foundation, and currently serves on the Program and Governance Committees.  From 2016 to 2019 she was a member of the Advisory Committee of NSF’s Directorate of Education and Human Resources.  She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.  Other honors include the Frederick A. P. Barnard Award for service to Barnard College (2012) and the Frank Abbott Award from the Institute for Teaching and Mentoring (2018).

    Dr. Boylan came to the Sloan Foundation from Barnard College where she was Provost and Dean of the Faculty and professor of Biological Sciences. During her 16-year tenure at Barnard, she led many efforts involved with faculty career enhancement, curriculum reform, international education, and capital projects. Among the major grants for which she was responsible were those from the Mellon Foundation for a Center of Excellence supporting both facility and programmatic improvements in the sciences and for a consortium of 23 liberal arts colleges that provided faculty development opportunities in research and teaching. From 1996 to 2000, she served on the Commission for Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. She was also a member of the Leadership Network for International Education of the American Council on Education and the Advisory Board of Project Kaleidoscope.

    Prior to her work at Barnard, Boylan was associate provost for academic planning and programs at Queens College/CUNY. She was a tenured member of the biology faculty at Queens College and the CUNY Graduate Center. She served as Deputy Chair of Graduate Studies in Biology for four years, chaired of the Queens College Academic Senate for three years, and co-chaired two University-wide efforts in program reform in science, engineering, technology and mathematics, and in secondary education. Research in her laboratory was supported by the National Cancer Institute and the American Federation for Aging Research, as well as University grants. She has served as a consultant for, among others, the National Cancer Institutes’ Breast Cancer Task Force, the American Cancer Society’s Review Committee on Prevention, Diagnosis, and Therapy, the National Science Foundation, the New Jersey Commission on Cancer Research, and various scientific journals.

    A specialist in developmental biology and hormonal carcinogenesis, Boylan earned a Ph.D. in zoology/embryology from Cornell University and a bachelor's degree in biological sciences from Wellesley College. She was a pre-doctoral fellow at the Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole and a postdoctoral fellow in biochemistry and oncology at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

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