Leslie V. Parise has served as dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) at UVM since May 2020. As dean, she has worked to create a five-year strategic plan for the College, which encompasses research, teaching, and continued improvements to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) the Food Systems Research Center. This ARS funding is part of a collaborative partnership between UVM and the USDA to support transdisciplinary research on small- to medium-sized farms and food systems in Vermont and the Northeast. She is also a professor of Nutrition and Food Science, with a secondary appointment in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics.
Dean Parise’s tenure has brought an increased focus on ensuring a deeper commitment to DEI, expanding research base of the college, hiring outstanding new faculty and providing the best possible educational opportunities to our students, which includes not only our traditional undergraduates, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows but also community learners who take advantage of the many educational opportunities offered by UVM Extension. She works actively across CALS and UVM to foster relationships, expand cutting-edge scholarship, enhance excellence in teaching, and nurture a sense of belonging and community for all students, faculty, and staff.
Prior to joining UVM, Parise was chair of the faculty and professor and chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she was a prolific researcher in cardiovascular disease and cancer. She holds a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Illinois Medical Center in Chicago and a B.S. in Chemistry and Biology from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Parise has a deep history in conducting innovative research, mentoring students, and working with biotech companies.
If you speak with Dean Parise, she will surely tell you how excited she is to be in Vermont. Outside of work, you can find her hiking, cross-country skiing or snow shoeing with her husband or spending time with her children and grandchild.