Linda Walters, a UCF Pegasus Professor in the Department of Biology, has been named the new director of the university’s Center for Success of Women Faculty, which strives to recruit, retain and advance female faculty members.
Walters has worked at UCF for 16 years. As a marine conservation biologist, her research focus is the human impact on the marine environment and community-based solutions to those problems.
The center, previously known as the Women’s Research Center, aims to build a feeling of community across campus, especially in departments where the number of women faculty is low; provide opportunities to showcase the diverse successes of women faculty; and to help promote a balanced approach to life and work issues for faculty members.
When not working on issues for the center, Walters works with her students and colleagues to run a research-based outreach campaign to promote environmental stewardship to protect local estuaries. That has included producing five children’s books, holding annual workshops for local educators, and mobilizing more than 35,000 volunteers for oyster reef restoration and shoreline-stabilization projects.
Students in her marine biology courses also participate in service-learning with Pre-K to 12th grade classrooms.
Walters was awarded the 2011 Florida Campus Compact Service-Learning Faculty Award for the state university sector and the William A. Niering Outstanding Educator of the Year award from the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation.
She was recognized last year by Volusia County, which named a day in her honor, and she was the recipient of the UCF University Service Award. She has been the principal investigator or co-principal investigator on more than 100 research awards to date, totaling nearly $10 million.
Walters will continue to teach and do research in biology while serving as director for the center. She was named to the post by Diane Z. Chase, executive vice provost.
Walters earned her bachelor’s degree from Bates College, and her masters and Ph.D. at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, S.C.
(Walters’ next shoreline stabilization project is 8 a.m. to noon Sunday, May 19, at the north end of Canaveral National Seashore. Volunteers are needed to help make 1,000 shell bags and deploy 600 of the filled bags to shoreline sites. The filled bags weigh about 30 pounds. Contact Walters at Linda.Walters@ucf.edu to volunteer.)