Rebecca was named the first assistant dean of the new School of Health Sciences and Wellness in July 2020. Prior to this role, Rebecca served as the head of the School of Health Care Professions (SHCP) and associate dean in the College of Professional Studies from August 2017-June 2020.
Rebecca was a tenured faculty member at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. She has taught pharmacology, toxicology, cancer biology, general biology and topical seminar courses while conducting research funded by the National Institutes of Health. Rebecca was awarded over $1.2 million in research funds from 2002-12. Her most recent investigations examined the mechanisms by which developmental arsenic exposure increases obesity and alters glucose homeostasis in mice. Her success in conducting nationally recognized research lead her to actively mentoring faculty researchers at primarily undergraduate institutions in the IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence Programs in Rhode Island and New Hampshire.
Prior to being named head of SHCP, Rebecca served as the academic adviser in SCHP for four years with the mission to help students better understand the many professional opportunities in health care. Rebecca, together with the faculty and staff of SHCP, is devoted to increasing the number of quality educational experiences available to students pursuing careers in health care.
Experience and Interests
- Associate Professor, Health Care Professions, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, WI (2017-2020)
- Associate Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies, Bates College, ME (2006-2013)
- Adjunct Faculty, Bioscience Research Institute, University of Southern Maine, ME (2003-2012)
- Assistant Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies, Bates College, ME (1998-2006)
- Adjunct Instructor in Nursing Pharmacology, Edgewood College, WI (1994-1997)
- Graduate Teaching Assistant, School of Pharmacy University of Wisconsin-Madison, WI (1992-1993)
- Best practices in Health Care Education, especially to better serve rural populations
- Developmental Toxicology – developmental exposures that cause adverse effects later in life
- Associate Dean, CPS, and Head of School of Health Care Professions, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, WI (2017-2020)
- Academic Advisor School of Health Care Professions, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, WI (2013-2017)
- Outside Consultant for Rhode Island IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence Program, College of Pharmacy, University of Rhode Island, RI (2009-2013)
- Chair of Environmental Studies, Bates College, ME (2010-2012)
- External Graduate School Faculty, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Maine, ME (2007-2012)
- Visiting Scientist, School of Pharmacy, University of New Mexico, NM (2003)
- 2011 – Donna Jones Moritsugu Memorial Award recognizing professionalism and family life
- 2010 – Research Advisor of Annie Carlton, awarded a Beckman Scholarship for Undergraduate Research and a Pfizer Undergraduate Award
- 2007 – Research Advisor of Kay Gonsalves, awarded a Pfizer Undergraduate Award
- 1998 – Samuel C. Johnson Distinguished Fellowship for Graduate Research
- 1995 – Society of Toxicology Graduate Student Award
- 1993 – Oscar Rennebohm Award for Outstanding Teaching as a Graduate Assistant
- Board of Directors, North Central Area Health Education Center (AHEC) (2016-present)
- Volunteer, Wausau West High School concessions for football and basketball (2015-present)
Presentations and Publications
- Sommer, R.J. Cardiac Physiology and Pharmacology. In: Cardiovascular Toxicology, 3rd edition, Vol. 13 of Comprehensive Toxicology Series, Ed. McQueen C.A., Elsevier: Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 2018, pp 46-60.
- Department of Labor H1B Rural Healthcare Grant, Collaboration of Wisconsin: Rural Investment in Community Healthcare (COW), Education Partner, $2,499,843 funding for six Workforce Development Boards in 17 counties.
Best advice you ever received?
Some of the best things in life, or the things that are really worth doing, are often difficult, or certainly not easy.
If not me, who? If not now, when?
One thing about your school that you are most proud of?
Everyone cares deeply for the students and are devoted to increasing quality educational experiences in health and wellness.
What do you enjoy most about teaching?
Learning new things and the energy and enthusiasm of students.
A piece of advice for students in your school?
Put in the hard work to really learn, and don’t let fear of making a mistake get in the way of learning.