John Chapin’s love of science has brought him back to St. Petersburg College, the place where his collegiate teaching career began, as Dean of Natural Science.
“When I became aware of this opening — the dean’s position that focuses on Natural Sciences, which is my first love, and working with faculty and students and curriculum and all of the things I’m passionate about — it was perfect,” Chapin said.
The Pensacola native’s history at the college began at the Tarpon Springs Campus in 1977. For several years, he served as the only full-time science faculty but said the experience helped him grow professionally.
In 1995, he left to become the founding Dean for Science, Health and Wellness at Montgomery College (now Lone Star College) in Texas, where he worked with President Bill Law on that founding team.
He returned to Florida in 2002 to serve for two years as Dean of Math, Science and Allied Health at Polk Community College (now Polk State College). From 2004-07, he was Chief Academic Officer at Guilford Technical Community College in Jamestown, N.C., where he was responsible for all credit programs, college transfer, more than 50 occupational-technical programs on three campuses, and an aviation center.
The last five years he was Vice President of Workforce Development at Tallahassee Community College, where he again worked with President Law.
Chapin replaced John Vaughan as Dean of Natural Science on July 16.
He said his experiences in both academia and workforce development give him a unique perspective.
“I’ve kind of been involved with the academic piece for a long time, but with the current state of the economic situation in the country, the whole emphasis on getting students prepared for jobs has really refocused me on some things that I think we can do in the sciences to prepare students to move on into careers,” Chapin said.