Hannah Croasdale Gains Tenure

The botanist was the first woman in the Arts and Sciences at Dartmouth to achieve the level of full professor.

One hundred sixteen women on Dartmouth’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences hold tenure, according to 2017 data. That’s 115 more than there were in 1964, when Hannah Croasdale, an associate professor of biology and an authority on freshwater and marine algae, became the first tenured female faculty member in College history—more than three decades after being hired.

Dartmouth has honored the botanist with the Hannah Croasdale Award, given annually for academic excellence to a graduating PhD recipient who best exemplifies the qualities of a scholar. But Caroline Cook ’21 wants to shine a bigger and brighter spotlight on the trailblazing scientist. 

This summer, as Dartmouth’s first historical accountability research fellow, Cook wrote a research paper and made a video about Croasdale’s life and work, drawing on materials she found in the Dartmouth Library. 

“I’m on a crusade,” Cook says. “I’m telling everyone her story, and also the stories of other women who have gotten us to this point at Dartmouth.” 

Cook holds the inaugural fellowship in the new Historical Accountability Student Research Program which, funded through the Provost’s office, offers four term-long, full-time research fellowships for students who want to explore the Rauner Special Collections Library’s holdings and create original content based on primary sources. It’s part of Dartmouth’s Inclusive Excellence initiative, which is aimed at fostering a culture of inclusion.

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