Associate Dean for Teaching, Learning, and Research
Beverly F. Dolan Professor of Biology
Davidson College
P.O. Box 7118
Davidson, NC 28035

Tel: 704-894-2327
FAX: 704-894-2967


Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology (Animal Behavior), The Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA (1974)
Masters of Science in Zoology (Animal Behavior), The Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA (1972)
Bachelor of Science in Zoology, The Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA (1970)

Academic Positions

Beverly F. Dolan Professor, Davidson College, Davidson, NC (Named Professorship since 2009)
Charles A. Dana Professor, Davidson College, Davidson, NC (Professor since 1991, Named Professorship 2004 – 2009)
Associate Professor of Biology, Davidson College, Davidson, NC (1980-1991)
Visiting Scholar, MIT/Harvard Medical Consortium, Reproductive technologies – Neonatal intensive care, in vitro fertilization and prenatal diagnosis (1986-1987)
Assistant Professor of Biology, Davidson College, Davidson, NC (1975-1991)
Visiting Scholar, University of Aberdeen, Scotland, Development of social bonds in squirrel monkeys (1975)
Instructor of Biology, Davidson College, Davidson, NC (1974-1975)
Research Fellow, The Pennsylvania State University, Developmental aspects of social organization in gallinaceous birds (1970-1973)
Research Assistant, The Pennsylvania State University, Developmental aspects of social organization in gallinaceous birds (1973-1974)
Research Assistant, University of Georgia at SREL, Garnett, South Carolina and Ossabaw Island, Comparative ethology of gallinaceous birds and social organization of feral mammals (1970)

Administrative Positions

Associate Dean for Teaching, Learning, and Research (Since July 2010)
Administer and guide the development of structures and programs that support faculty in teaching and research
  • Oversee the Teaching Resource Center in Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL)
  • Oversee new faculty orientation and faculty mentoring
  • Collaborate with the Teaching Discussion Group, Library, and Instructional Technology
  • Explore 2, 2, + teaching load
  • Work with departments and department chairs on strategic planning
  • Work to expand opportunities and to obtain funds for faculty professional development projects, including those opportunities found through Faculty, Study, and Research, the Davidson Research Initiative (DRI), the Howard Hughes Medical Institute grant, and other funding sources.
  • Oversee the Office of Grants and Contracts
Administer and guide the development of structures and programs that provide academic services and engaged learning (depth) opportunities for students
  • Develop and administer depth opportunities
    • Develop and oversee the EXPLR course
    • Expand opportunities and obtain additional funds for student research and other forms of engaged learning, including internships
    • Manage funding and programs for student research, including the Davidson Research Initiative and Howard Hughes Medical Institute grants
    • Coordinate with other programs providing opportunities for engaged learning, including Abernethy, Kemp, and Civic Engagement
  • Provide administrative oversight and coordinate student services provided by the Center for Teaching and Learning
    • Writing, Speaking, and Math and Science Center
    • Learning  Support Center
    • Instructional Technology
Coordinate activities related to the above faculty and student services across all divisions of the college, for example:
  • Seek external support for programs in conjunction with Institutional Advancement
  • Incorporate Student Life’s programs for learning support and learning disabilities in the CTL and collaborate with the Center for Civic Engagement to provide depth learning opportunities Student Life
  • Provide Admission with information on all student support and engaged learning opportunities
  • Consult with Athletics regarding special support needed by student athletes
  • Collaborate with ITS to ensure strong technological support for Teaching and Learning and with Business and Finance, in general, to manage grant and special program funds.
Assess teaching, learning, and research programs to insure that they are meeting the goals of the Strategic Plan and their specific program goals.

Strategic Planning Roles at Davidson College

Chair, Strategic Advisory Committee (beginning November 2010)
  • SAC advises the president and PES on matters of institutional initiatives related to the Davidson Strategic Plan adopted by the Board of trustees in October of 2009.  Toward that end, the SAC will be collectively involved in perceiving, analyzing, learning, and thinking about Davidson’s future by:
    • Considering and responding to recommendations for institutional initiatives to insure that they reflect the goals of the strategic plan and that they fit within a broad internal and external context.  Proposed initiatives may be brought to the SAC for consideration by the president, PES, committees, or individuals and groups.
    • Analyzing the overall effectiveness of the strategic implementation process.
    • Assisting and advising the president and PES in shaping broad parameters for budgeting and setting priorities of initiatives.
    • Proposing strategies and goals above and beyond the current strategic plan that will define an agenda and a vision for Davidson’s future.
    • Serving as a vehicle for collaborative leadership and help to integrate campus “silos” to draw upon, encourage, and strategically connect the best emerging educational and administrative practices.
    • Communicating activities to the greater Davidson community on a regular basis.
    • Helping the strategic process become a familiar method for campus decision-making.
Project Management Team member
One of three individuals who will continue to monitor and oversee the implementation process for the strategic plan (beginning June, 2010)


Organized and led the Implementation Plan iTeam as part of A.C.E. Fellows project, Davidson College, Davidson, NC (2009-10)
  • My role as convener of the iTeam included organizing the implementation process, establishing 21 implementation teams with specific charges related to the 2009 Davidson College Strategic Plan, and insuring that progress on the charges is being made by all teams.  The management process includes regular reports to the trustees, President’s Executive Staff, and faculty, as well as meeting regularly with the conveners of the other implementation teams.
  • In addition to managing the implementation process, I am convening two teams (Team 4 – Center for Teaching and Learning and Team 9- Depth Studies) and serving on five other teams.

A.C.E. Fellow – Class of 2009-10

  • A.C.E. Orientation and A.C.E. Fellows Meeting – June 5-8, 2009
  • A.C.E. Opening Retreat – August 25 – September 1, 2009
  • A.C.E. Host Institution  – Washington and Lee University
    • Approximately two days/week spent at Washington and Lee University
    • Fall semester project: White paper on the Teacher-Scholar
    • Spring semester projects: Training of departmental chair s, design teacher-scholar post-doctoral program, dashboard indicators for Student Life, marketing strategy for campaign.
    • A.C.E. visits to institutions of higher education
      • Visited five institutions in the Boston area (Harvard, Tufts, Wellesley, Northeastern, and Brandeis) – November 16 -18, 2009
      • Visited San Diego Zoo Education Department and San Diego Community College – January 5, 2010
      • A.C.E. Mid-year Retreat – January 6 – 12, 2010

Chair of Biology Department (1993-2009)

During my tenure as Chair the Biology Department became the largest academic department at Davidson in terms of the number of majors, the number of faculty and support staff, and the size of our facilities and budget.
  • Two major Life Sciences construction projects took place under my leadership.  The construction of the Watson Life Sciences Building and the later renovation of the Dana Science Laboratories were the result of my writing the Statement for Science and Mathematics at Davidson College in the spring of 1993, with collaboration from the chairs of the chemistry, math, physics and psychology departments.  I served as the project shepherd for both construction projects.
  • Managed the primary operating and capital budgets as well as supplementary accounts.
  • $9 million in external grant funds, including the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health and the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, providing the department with state-of-the-art equipment and innovative curricular initiatives.
  • Equipment was purchased with grants from foundations and with the department’s internal capital funds (about $850,000 in value).
  • As the result of my initiative, Biology was the first department on campus to engage in strategic planning.  At the same time we established departmental policies and began to keep records of student and faculty accomplishments.
  • In addition to the above accomplishments as chair, I also:
    • Founded the TriBeta Honor Society in Biology in 1994.
    • Created and obtained funding for two annual achievement student awards: the Tom Daggy Biology Award and the Sigma Xi Research Award.
    • Annually publish the Student Handbook for Biology Majors.
    • Started the BioCenter, a depository for information on graduate schools and internship opportunities.
    • Registered the department as a CUR Tier II school, Directory of Research in Biological Sciences at Primarily Undergraduate Institutions (1994 and 1997 editions).

Program Director of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Grant (1996-2000; 2004-2012)

  • I contributed to the writing of our 1996 HHMI grant proposal and was the sole author of the 2004 and 2008 grant proposals, with suggestions from the HHMI Committee. The 1996 grant totaled $650,000, 2004 grant $1.3 million, and the 2008 grant $1.5 million.
  • As Program Director I manage the budget, oversee all program components, delegate responsibilities for program components to individual faculty, oversee the search process for new faculty and other positions established through the grants, arrange for program assessment, write the annual reports, and attend HHMI Program Directors meetings.

Program Director for the Davidson Research Initiative funded by The Duke Endowment (2006-2011)

  • Managing the budget
  • Organizing the Summer Research Program
    • Solicit student applications.
    • Lead the selection committee review of student proposals.
    • Set up the summer luncheon programs.
    • Design a group project that will address an aspect of undergraduate research and will be submitted to the President.
    • Host the Summer Research Poster Symposium in September.
    • Administering the Group Investigations Program and the Faculty Development Program
      • Solicit applications from faculty.
      • Select award winners, along with the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Convener of the science and mathematics chairs

  • Started the science and mathematics chairs’ meetings in late 1980s and served as convener of the group until 2007.
  • Authored the Statement for Science and Mathematics at Davidson College.

Summary of Honors Received

  • 2008 American Council on Education Fellows Program, Accepted for the Class of 2009-10
  • 2009 Beverly F. Dolan Professor of Biology
  • 2004 Southern Conference Teaching Award
  • 2004 Charles A. Dana Professor of Biology
  • 1999 Matthews Travel Award
  • 1998 Thomas Jefferson Award, Davidson College
  • 1970 NDEA Fellowship Award for Biology, The Pennsylvania State University
  • Phi Kappa Phi, Sigma Xi, Beta Beta Beta
  • American Men and Women of Science


Case, Verna M. 2009. Innocence’s Journey. In Global Health Narratives from Ghana toGuatemala: A Guide to Public Health for Youth, Ed. E. Mendenhall. University of New Mexico Press. pp. 145-152.

Case, V.M. 2003. Fetal surgery:  A hotbed for maternal-fetal conflict issues. The Ethical View 3(1):6-7.

Case, V.M. 1986.  Breeding cycle aggression in zebra finches. Aggressive Behavior 12(5):337-48.

Sherrill, D.M. and V.M. Case. 1980. Winter home ranges of 4 clans of red-cockaded woodpeckers in the Carolina Sandhills. Wilson Bull. 92(3):369-75.

Case, V.J. and H.B. Graves. 1978. Functional vs. other types of imprinting and sensitive periods in Gallus chicks. Behavioral Biol. 23:433-45.

Miller, Verna J. and H.B. Graves. 1974. Interaction of age, experience and social relationships in Gallus chicks. Amer. Zool. 13:1264.

Miller, Verna J. and H.B. Graves. 1971. Sensitive periods for following and stay-near responses in Gallus chicks. Amer. Zool. 11:636.

Publications of research by students under my direction:

Williams, A. and Bolen, L. 1983. Step into your horses shoes.  Chronicle of the Horse.

Stow, S.E. 1977. Pair bonding in the zebra finch. J. Elishia Mitchell Sci. Soc. 93(2): 62-3.

Recent Collaborative Research with Students since 2007

  • Karen Hasty (2008) Anti-retroviral Treatment Failure in Mwandi, Zambia
  • Jessica Hodge (2007) Methods used by health care workers to monitor patient adherence to HAART
  • Christie Brough (2007) The Ethics of Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis for Non-medical Sex Selection
  • Kelly Dresser (2007) The Ethics of Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis for the Purpose of Creating Savior Siblings
  • Lauren Pierce (2007 Kemp Scholar) Funding and Effectiveness in Africa’s Struggle Against HIV/AIDS
  • Jarrod Blue, Tamar Odle, Trevan Rankin (2007 Group Investigation – Spring Semester)

The Effectiveness of Pedagogy and its Influence on Scientific Learning at the Undergraduate Level

  • Jarrod Blue, Tamar Odle, Trevan Rankin (2007 Group Investigation – Fall Semester)

Leadership in the Sciences

  • Jennifer Jones and Janell Dyitt (2008 Group Investigation – Fall Semester)

What are the characteristics of successful science students

Professional Contributions to the Institution (additional to administrative positions) – Current

  • International Students Experience Committee (preparation of proposal for Institutional Advancement), Fall 2009
  • Faculty Study and Research Committee, Chair since 2006.
  • Abernethy Grant Committee, Chair since 2010
  • Davidson College Faculty Marshall, since 2004
  • Career Services Faculty Advisory Group, since 1995
  • Premedical Committee, 1985-1990; 1994-1997, since 1998-2010
  • Medical Humanities Advisory Committee, since 1989
  • Animal Care and Use Committee, Chair, since 1987

Professional Contributions to the Institution (additional to administrative positions) – 2000-2008

  • Search Committee for Career Services Director, Spring 2010
  • Committee on Curriculum Development:  Fall 2008 – Spring 2009
  • Steering committee for strategic planning: Fall 2008 – Spring 2009
  • Chair Strategic Assessment Study Group: Teaching and Learning, Spring/Summer/Fall 2008
  • Course evaluation subcommittee for Professional Affairs Committee, 2006
  • Search committee for the Executive Director of Institutional Technology, 2004
  • Search committee for the Vice President for Business and Finance, 2003

Professional Contributions Beyond the Institution – Current

  • Served as discussion leader for PKAL’s Pre-Conference Workshop, “Transforming Undergraduate STEM Education: Exploring the Dimensions of Leadership – AAC&U Annual Meeting – 2010
    • Reviewed 18 applications for the HHMI EXROP program in December, 2009
    • AAC&U planning meeting held at Duke University to discuss upcoming Fall 2010 AAC&U meeting focused on Undergraduate Research, 2009
    • Mwandi Mission Hospital Board of Trustees, since 2007.  Chair of Board since 2011
    • North Carolina Association for Biomedical Research (NCABR) Board of Directors, since 2007
    • Advisory Board of the Carolina Raptor Center, since 2005
    • Faculty liaison for Glaxo Welcome Women in Science program, since1999 (Two meetings at GSK per year, with Davidson’s WIS Scholars)

Professional Contributions Beyond the Institution – 2000-2007

  • HHMI Grant Writing Workshop for Minority Serving Institutions – Presenter and mentor for two institutions May, 2007
  • Presentation entitled “Davidson College Summer Programs in Africa” at the PKAL Assembly: Infusing Global Dimension into Undergraduate STEM programs, University of California, Irvine on November, 2003
  • 2001, 2002 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Panel Chair
  • Presenter at PKAL Planning Facilities for Undergraduate Science and Mathematics at Ursinus College, 2001.
  • Presentation at Project Kaleidoscope Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience, “Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees”, 2001.
  • Member of the Arts and Science Council Science Advisory Group, 2001-2002
  • 1998, 1999, 2000 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program Panelist

Departmental Reviews and Site Visits

  • Departmental review – Presbyterian College, 2009
  • HHMI grant review – Swarthmore College, 2007
  • Departmental review – Stetson University, 2006
  • Departmental review – Guilford College, 2005
  • Departmental review – Gettysburg College, 2005
  • PKAL/Keck Consultant, Carroll College, 2005
  • Departmental review – Presbyterian College, 2004
  • Departmental review – Washington and Lee University, 2004
  • PKAL/Keck Consultant, Capital University, 2004
  • Departmental review – Elon University, 2002
  • Departmental review – Dowling College, 2001
  • NSF Site Visit Team – Union College, 2001
  • Departmental review – Denison College, 2001
  • NSF-REU Site Visit – Richard Stockton College Wetlands Institute, Stoneharbor, NJ, 2001
  • PKAL/Keck Consultant, West Virginia Wesleyan College, 2000
  • PKAL/Keck Consultant, Wittenburg University, 1999
  • Departmental review – Biology Department, Denison College, 1997
  • Departmental review – Biology Department, Washington and Lee University, 1996
  • PKAL/Keck Consultant, Misericordia College, 1995
  • Site Visit and Program review for the School For Field Studies Program in Kenya, 1995
  • Departmental Review, Biology Department, Berry College, 1994

Consultant activities

  • PKAL Leadership Initiative Mentor for St. Olaf College – 2004-05
  • Consultant on the Design Team of Lord, Aeck and Sargent Architectural Firm
  • Albright College Science Center Program, 2001
  • St. Bonaventure University Science Building Programming, 1999

Summary of Grant Activity

  • Davidson College Research Initiative funded by The Duke Endowment, Program Director 2006 – 2011 ($750,000/year)
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Undergraduate Biomedical Science Education Program, author of the grant and Program Director, 2008-2012  ($1.5 million)
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Undergraduate Biomedical Science Education Program, author of the grant and Program Director, 2004-2008  ($1.3 million)
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Undergraduate Biomedical Sciences Education Program, author of the grant and Program Director, 1996-2000 ($650,000)
  • NSF-ILI grant for computers for introductory biology laboratories – Pat Peroni and Verna Case, co-PIs, 1994-96 ($29,593)
  • Davidson College Teaching Improvement Grant, 1995
  • Fullerton Foundation Grant, 1992
  • Sloan Summer Grant, 1989
  • Sloan Foundation Special Leave Grant, 1986-1987
  • Mellon Foundation Grant for Interdisciplinary Studies, 1986-1987
  • Shell Grant, 1978

Summary of International Visibility and Service

  • Since the summer of 2000, I have been taking students to Mwandi, Zambia for a month-long experience which focuses on health care in Zambia.  The general framework for the course entitled “Health and Human Disease in Zambia” is for students to prepare for the trip to Africa by studying infectious diseases that are prevalent in the area.  Once in Zambia, students work in the hospital setting, going on rounds and rotating through various sections of the hospital.  Each student also focuses on a specific project related to health care in Mwandi.  Project papers are sent back to the hospital in hopes that they will be of value to the hospital staff. In addition to the academic component, the students in the course perform a service project for the hospital. The entire experience is life-changing for the students.  Healthcare in this setting is complicated by culture, religion, politics, and poverty.  Students exposed to these complications want to fix them…immediately or at least in one month.  When they realize this won’t happen, frustration and hopelessness abound.  Eventually these students realize that the best thing they can do is commit to giving back in some way…some day when they have the expertise and resources that will enable them to help. To date, seventy students and alumni(ae) have traveled with me to Zambia and I will be taking an additional nine students this summer.

Community Activities – On and off campus

  • Faculty advisor for Davidson Ballroom Dance Club, since 2002
  • Member of the Arts and Science Council Science Advisory Group, beginning in 2001
  • Board of Directors of Planned Parenthood of Greater Charlotte, 1980-85, Secretary 1983-1985
  • Board of Directors of the Carolina Raptor Center, 1981-1995
    • Vice-President 1981-1984
    • President, 1984-1986, 1987-1988
    • Chair Development Committee, 1988-1989
    • Chair Membership Committee, 1991-1992
    • Long-range Planning Committee, 1994-1995
  • Advisory Board of the Carolina Raptor Center, since 2005
  • Mwandi Mission Hospital Board of Trustees, since 2007
  • North Carolina Association for Biomedical Research (NCABR) Board of Directors, since 2007

Current Memberships

  • Association of American Colleges and Universities
  • Phi Kappa Phi
  • Beta Beta Beta
  • Sigma Xi
  • Animal Behavior Society
  • American Society for the Advancement of Science
  • Council on Undergraduate Research
  • American Fertility Society