David Howard was a beloved biology professor who died Feb. 19, 2016, after a long battle with renal cell carcinoma. Colleagues in the Biology Department in conjunction with his family established a scholarship endowment to honor him and help keep the talented cell biologist and microscopist’s spirit alive.
Biology Professor Jennifer A. Miskowski, a colleague and friend, says Howard was known for dropping everything for both students and colleagues. “He had endless patience with students whether they were advisees, students in his courses, or research students in his own lab or the labs of others,” she says. Along with being the department’s leading microscopist, Miskowski says Howard partnered with Biology colleagues and other College of Science and Health faculty on scholarly projects. “I think multiple publications that list him as an author have been submitted and/or accepted even since his passing, and these are all due to his collaborative nature,” she notes. Miskowski says one of Howard’s biggest impacts on campus was acquiring more than $1 million in grants to purchase cutting-edge microscopes for the imaging center, along with many student-grade microscopes for teaching labs. The former department chair also revised the cell biology lecture and lab course, and designed and taught an upper-level microscopy course. He pioneered active learning endeavors to make his courses more exciting and understandable. Most recently, he led the department’s assessment efforts.