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July 23, 2001

Valgene L. Dunham, dean of the College of Natural and Applied Sciences at Coastal Carolina University, has been elected president of the South Carolina Academy of Science (SCAS).

Founded in 1924, SCAS is a state-wide interdisciplinary science organization designed to stimulate the creative abilities of science faculty and students and provide opportunities for the presentation of research results. Its membership includes college and high school students, teachers, professors, scientists, institutions of higher education and financial institutions. Each year, SCAS sponsors an annual meeting at which South Carolina college and university faculty and students present research papers. The organization also sponsors the Junior Academy of Science for high school students and the Middle and Elementary School Academy of Science. SCAS also co-sponsors, with the Governor's Office and the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education, the Governor's Award for Excellence in Science.

Dunham joined the Coastal faculty in 1995. He earned a bachelor's of science degree in general science in 1962 from Houghton College in Houghton, N.Y., and earned a master's degree in general science in 1965 and a Ph.D. in botany in 1969, both from Syracuse University in Syracuse, N.Y. He also conducted post-doctoral research from 1969 to 1973 at Purdue University. Prior to joining Coastal, Dunham was a professor of biology and head of the Department of Biology at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green. He also served on the board of the Kentucky Academy of Science and was director of the Kentucky Junior Academy of Science from 1992 to 1995.