Dr. Joyce Easter is Dean of the Batten Honors College of Virginia Wesleyan University and Professor of Chemistry. She received her B.S. in Biology from Cornell University and her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Duke University. After five years at Eastern Illinois University, she joined the faculty at Virginia Wesleyan University in 2000. She was the recipient of both VWU's Samuel Nelson Gray Distinguished Teaching Award and the United Methodist Church Exemplary Teacher Award.
Dr. Easter's research focuses on natural product biochemistry, such as the detection and isolation of bioactive substances with antimicrobial, antiviral, cytotoxic, and anti-inflammatory properties, and therefore potential lead compounds for new pharmaceuticals. She is also interested in the integration of green chemistry into the pharmaceutical industry, both in the synthesis of pharmaceuticals and the identification of potential renewable pharmaceutical feedstocks. She has been involved in pedagogical development and curriculum reform for more than 20 years as a member of Project Kaleidoscope, the American Chemical Society, American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and the POGIL Project. She has developed inquiry-based experiments and teaching materials for her biochemistry and organic courses.
Dr. Easter is originally from northern New Jersey and the Finger Lakes region of New York. She currently resides in Virginia Beach with her husband, Loran.