Valerie Banschbach, Ph.D. | University of Portland

Valerie Banschbach, Ph.D.

Dean, College of Arts and Sciences

Valerie Banschbach

Prior to joining UP, Valerie Banschbach served as associate provost and dean of sciences and education at Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota. There she co-founded a chapter of the first-generation honor society, Tri-Alpha, and advanced DEIJ efforts in faculty hiring and retention. Valerie has held titles including professor, chair, and founding program director at Roanoke College in Virginia and Saint Michael’s College in Vermont. She earned a State Council of Higher Education of Virginia Outstanding Faculty Award, was selected for the Senior Leadership Academy of the Council of Independent Colleges, and elected president of the Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences. As a scientist, Valerie has investigated ecosystem health using ants as bioindicators. She was awarded a Fulbright-Nehru Senior Scholar grant for teaching and research at the Wildlife Institute of India. Valerie has mentored numerous undergraduate researchers, with student outcomes including national conference presentations and peer-reviewed publications. Her co-edited 2021 volume exploring teaching about contested fossil fuel pipeline projects is one example of her innovative curriculum and pedagogy development in environmental studies and sciences. She has developed travel courses to Costa Rica, India, Kenya, and Mexico, strongly incorporating intercultural learning and community-engagement. After growing up in Cincinnati, Ohio, she journeyed to Pomona College, California to earn her B.A. in biology and the University of Miami, Florida for her Ph.D. in biology. Valerie and her family are new to the Pacific Northwest and very excited about making a home here. Valerie enjoys outdoor time, including hiking, bird watching, and walking her dog.