Shannon Point Marine Center director to retire after 28 years

Stephen Sulkin will be retiring next summer as professor and director of Western Washington University’s Shannon Point Marine Center, according to an announcement from the university.

Sulkin has been the center’s director since 1985. A search for his successor will begin early next year.

“Dr. Sulkin’s contributions to Western have been many,” Catherine Riordan, WWU provost, said in a press release, “I would go so far as to say that Western is a different—and much better—place ­because of Dr. Sulkin’s superlative work. The record of uninterrupted funding from the National Science Foundation and receiving a presidential award for excellence in mentoring are just two of the many examples of success the marine center has enjoyed under his leadership.”

The outgoing director cited his aid in the center securing a $4.9 million grant in 2006 for construction of the Marine Education Center as among his most significant accomplishments. He also helped obtain continuous funding for the center from the National Science Foundation, and represented the Shannon Point center during a 2003 White House ceremony where it received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Math and Engineering mentoring.

“It has been a great honor to serve the university and contribute especially to development of the marine sciences at Western over the past 28 years,” Sulkin said. “The achievements of Shannon Point Marine Center over that time are a testament to the hard work and excellence of the faculty and staff who I have been privileged to work with, and to the support from the university that I have been fortunate to receive throughout my tenure as director.”

Sulkin received his undergraduate degree in zoology from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and earned a doctorate in marine biology from Duke University in 1971.

In addition to his role at Shannon Point, he has served WWU in a variety of capacities, including as acting provost and vice president for academic affairs in 1993, as chair of search committees for two deans of the College of Science & Technology and for a provost/academic vice president, and as a committee member on three other provost searches and a dean search.

Sulkin and his wife, Shelley, a science teacher at Whatcom Middle School, will continue to reside in Bellingham upon their retirements.

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