David J. Veselik, associate teaching professor and director of undergraduate studies in the Department of Biological Sciences, has been named assistant dean of undergraduate advising for the University of Notre Dame College of Science, effective July 1, 2021.
He succeeds Laura B. Flynn, current assistant dean, who is retiring after almost 21 years at the University and who received the Dockweiler Award for undergraduate advising in 2021. Jennifer Robichaud, associate teaching professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, will become director of undergraduate studies in biology, starting July 1.
Veselik has held his current role since 2013. In that role, he gained experience helping students navigate their educational paths after their first year at Notre Dame. In his new position, his guidance may begin before students even arrive on campus.
“I’m excited for the opportunity to help students transition to college life,” he said. “I look forward to making students feel at home in the College of Science.”
Veselik earned his doctoral degree in biochemistry and molecular biology from Georgetown University, and worked as a postdoctoral research associate at Notre Dame. He became an assistant teaching professor at the University in 2009 and was promoted to associate teaching professor in 2016.
He received a Dockweiler Award for undergraduate advising from the University in 2017. With his guidance, students have participated in several initiatives, including networking, vertical peer mentoring, lab shadowing and alumni mentoring. Flynn received the Dockweiler Award in 2021.
“Professor Veselik is a strong advisor who has established a great rapport with students and has had extensive interactions with the College of Science advisors as well as the other undergraduate advisors across the University,” said Michael Hildreth, interim dean of the College of Science. “We thank Laura Flynn for her excellent service to students and for leading the transition from First Year of Studies to embedded advising in the College of Science, not to mention orchestrating advising during COVID-19.
“Also, we look forward to Dave continuing to provide outstanding leadership to the first year advising team and to enhance their connections to the departments and programs in science.”
Flynn said she is confident that Veselik will adapt quickly to his new role, where he will encounter the different challenges of advising students studying in all of the science disciplines.
“The transition of students from high school to college in STEM fields can be demanding. Providing support and resources to these students early in their Notre Dame experience is extremely important.”
Robichaud holds a bachelor’s degree in clinical laboratory science from the College of Saint Scholastica, Duluth, Minnesota, and a master of science from the University of Georgia. She held fellowships at the Center of Disease Control, the Oak Ridge Institute of Science and Engineering, and was a research and diagnostic parasitologist at Purdue University. Robichaud was hired at Notre Dame in 2008 and has been an associate teaching professor since 2016.
“I am excited to help students explore their academic interests and find ways to expand their classroom, service and research experiences,” Robichaud said. “I am really looking forward to getting to know and work with the students over their college careers on a different level than with teaching alone.”