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DBT40 Honoree: Milton Muldrow


Professor and Chair,
Biology and Environmental Science & Policy Department 
Wilmington University

Introduce yourself:  I am a professor at Wilmington University. Dr. Muldrow is the Chairman of the Science department and am also the founding chair of the Environmental Science & Policy and Biology programs (including Biotech and Forensic Science concentrations). I am also an associate director of NASA Delaware Space grant and the Founder/Chief Scientist of Phantom Ecology, LLC.

Why me?  We have developed the second largest undergraduate environmental science program in the state in three years (94 students) and trained many students whom already have jobs with the state of Delaware, and other private and not for profit organizations. We have managed to open the science field to students who may not have had the opportunity. We have designed new state-of-the-art laboratories; gained funding through NASA Space Grant to examine genomic engineering of corals; and steer WilmU towards the sciences. This will and has changed the STEM landscape for the state of Delaware as all new programs have been successful in attracting Delaware students.

Professional accomplishments:  Prior to joining WilmU, I worked for the National Science Foundation where I wrote one of the first National Science Foundation (federal agency) reports on climate change. There I worked as a biologist and program analyst. I’ve also delivered two TEDx talks, including one that is a top five video for the environmental science topic.

Leadership examples: Among my students, I demonstrate leadership through demonstrating how to be successful in the scientific enterprise. I demonstrate leadership within my organization by aiding its evolution. When first arriving at WilmU four years ago, science was not considered a priority. Four years later, through informing leadership of the future of work, and demonstrating success in the space, science is now a priority, as significant resources have been spent on new facilities, and more to come in the future.

Vision: Over the coming year, the National Science Foundation estimates that 80% of workers will require some sort of STEM training. My vision for my organization is to continue to pursue STEM relevant programs, as well as excellence in teaching and student experiences within the space. STEM has loomed large for the state of Delaware historically, and is shaping up to continue that path for the future.

Community service: Each summer, I dedicate my time to mentor students in various research projects to aid their competitiveness in the science arena. I use my vacation leave and off time to aid their progression in life, and it has paid off in their successes. I not only mentor them in the hard sciences, but also soft skills, personal responsibility and professionalism. I also often speak to students across the country seeking advice and mentorship in science. I serve on local boards and give as much time as I can to the local community.

Where are you most at ease? In my perennial garden. We are growing everything from apple trees to pawpaws (look it up).

Milton with son Milton III

Advice 10 years ago: Don’t sweat the small stuff. All the truly valuable things in life are free to all.

Favorite moment: One of my favorite moments over the past several years was being awarded a Ph.D. with my children, wife and family there to experience the event with me. Having spent so many hours away from them, it was great to end that chapter together with a ceremony.

Family and education: I am a father of five, including 7-year-old twins Lily and Oliver, William (9), Milton III (11) and Ronald (14). My wife Linda and I just celebrated our 10-year anniversary. I am originally from Baltimore, Maryland. I am Chair of the Biology program at Wilmington University, including the Biotechnology and Forensic Science program. I am also Chair of Environmental Science and Policy program. I hold a Ph.D. in environmental science and public policy from George Mason University, a master’s from the University of Missouri – Saint Louis in biology, and a bachelor’s in biology from St. Francis University. Lastly, I am the founder of Phantom Ecology, LLC.

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