Delaware Valley University Names First Endowed Chair

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Delaware Valley University has named Dr. Paul P.G. Gauthier to the University’s first endowed faculty position. Dr. Gauthier’s position will be funded by the K.H. Littlefield Endowed Professorship of Plant Science. He will join the University on July 1. Under Dr. Gauthier’s leadership, the University will build a new academic program that specializes in hydroponics and aquaponics, allowing DelVal students to pursue careers in these growing industries. 

“I am honored to be selected for this position and I look forward to working with faculty, staff, and students as we build this new program in hydroponics and aquaponics,” said Dr. Gauthier. “The current development of vertical hydroponic farming in the U.S. and across the world offers new career opportunities and I am excited to help DelVal students get the skills that are needed to succeed in this new and growing industry.”

“This professorship is going to expand the career possibilities for our students,” said Dean of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences Dr. Broc Sandelin. “They will have a chance to learn in-demand skills and, will be able to explore how these skills apply to current challenges such as feeding a growing population with limited resources.” 

Dr. Gauthier is currently an associate research scholar in Princeton University’s Department of Geosciences and an NOAA affiliate in Princeton’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory. His research seeks to determine how climate change-driven environmental stresses impact ecosystem sustainability and food security. Prior to his time at Princeton, Dr. Gauthier held positions at the Australian National University and at University Paris Sud, where he earned his Ph.D. 

The Littlefield Professorship was made possible thanks to generous gifts from DelVal Trustee Kate Littlefield. Littlefield has been a member of DelVal’s Board of Trustees since 2015.    

“Dr. Gauthier’s breadth of experience and dedication make him perfect for DelVal,” said Littlefield. “This is not someone who just goes to his office, teaches a class, and goes home. He’s someone who clearly believes in what he’s doing and does it with passion and drive. I’m thrilled that he is coming to the University.”

Littlefield chose to fund the professorship to help the University teach students about solutions to tackle important global issues such as “feeding a growing population in a world complicated by diminishing natural resources.” She also feels professorships are helpful for recruiting and retaining high-quality faculty. 

“In Dr. Gauthier, we welcome a scholar with the background and skills to give life to Kate’s vision,” said DelVal President Dr. Maria Gallo. “Kate’s generosity is transforming DelVal daily and serving as a philanthropic model for all friends of the University.”