Carol Ann Paul
Carol Ann Paul, senior instructor of science laboratory emerita and a founding member of our neuroscience program, passed away on October 23 at the age of 66. She taught at the College from 1983 until 2010. Carol Ann taught first in Biological Sciences and later in the Neuroscience Program. She was the driving force behind the successful laboratory experiences in the core neuroscience courses, and was much beloved by students, faculty and staff alike.
Carol Ann will be remembered for her commitment to her students and her dedication to creating meaningful laboratory experiences for them. She constantly integrated across the disciplines and brought new ideas into our Neuroscience labs. For instance, she created a magnetic resonance imaging laboratory with faculty in the chemistry department that was incorporated into an advanced neuroscience course in the spring of 2010. She also organized a laboratory experience with computer science faculty, in which students use a tabletop computer interface to explore bioinformatics. As an example of Carol Ann’s commitment to our students, while her recent stroke prevented her from formal teaching, she returned to our introduction Neuroscience course to tell students about the neuroscience behind strokes and her experiences as a stroke survivor.
Her love of neuroscience could be seen in the breadth of academic endeavors that she pursued. She was the editor of Discovering Neurons: The Experimental Basis of Neuroscience, which was published in 1997 and co-edited by Barb Beltz, the Allene Lummis Russell Professor of Neuroscience, and Joanne Berger-Sweeney ’79, former Wellesley faculty member and Associate Dean of the College. Professor Paul also published many peer-reviewed papers, including the “Association of alcohol consumption with Brain Volume in the Framingham Heart Study” that was published in the Archives of Neurology in 2008 and received national attention. She was the principal investigator on an impressive number of grants, including those from the National Science Foundation for neuroscience curriculum development. She also presented her curriculum ideas at workshops for AAC&U’s Project Kaleidoscope and Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience.
Born in Belfast, Ireland, Carol Ann earned a B.A. from Keele University in England, and a master’s degree in epidemiology from Boston University School of Public Health. Prior to coming to Wellesley in 1983, she was a lecturer at Williams College and a lab instructor at Harvard University.
Given her many teaching and scholarly contributions to the field, Carol Ann was selected to be awarded the Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience Lifetime Achievement Award at the Society for Neuroscience meeting this November. Fortunately, we were able to share this news (which was intended to be a surprise) with her a few weeks before her death, so that she would know how much her contributions to neuroscience were admired and appreciated on a national level. We will always be grateful to Carol Ann for her profound contributions to the Neuroscience Program and her passion for “learning by doing”. We will always cherish her devoted friendship and her Irish wit and charm.