John Barthell is the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO) where he began his career as an assistant professor in 1995. Prior to being Provost, he served as the Dean of the College of Mathematics and Science for seven years and has spent nearly 15 years in administrative roles on the UCO campus. During that time, he has worked to create an inclusive, student-centered learning environment that promotes high-impact educational practices, including the early involvement of students in research, creative, and scholarly activities. He has taught multiple courses relating to the biological sciences and continues to give guest lectures and teach about the scientific process.
Barthell’s formal interest in research began when, as an undergraduate, he received a fellowship from the University of California (UC) to participate in a research expedition to Central America. After completing his doctoral work at UC Berkeley, he was a post-doctoral associate at UC Davis before beginning his career at UCO. He is a strong advocate for the kind of undergraduate research experience that he received as a student and is now the PI of a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant that explores the biological role of the honey bee within its native habitats in Eastern Europe (Greece) and nearby Anatolia (Republic of Turkey). Some of the research funded by the grant has broader implications for understanding Colony Collapse Disorder, a condition that impacts billions of dollars of crops annually in the United States. As part of the program, he works collaboratively with colleagues from across the United States, including at institutions in Kansas, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Puerto Rico, as well as with scientists in Greece and Turkey.
As Provost, Barthell has worked with his colleagues to institutionalize high-impact educational practices across disciplines. He is a nationally elected representative (Councilor) of the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) and serves on the Leadership Council of the NSF Biological Sciences Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program, the premier federally funded undergraduate research program for STEM disciplines. He has worked to promote research experiences for students at the undergraduate and graduate levels on the UCO campus as well as collaborating with his colleagues to bring the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) to UCO in April of 2018. His expertise in student-centered research has involved him in initiatives at private and public universities in Arizona, California, Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin.
Below, please find links to Dr. Barthell’s contributions to administration, scholarship, and teaching.