COSAM News Articles 2024 01 New assistant dean of biomedical sciences seeks to elevate the student experience

New assistant dean of biomedical sciences seeks to elevate the student experience

Published: 01/16/2024

By: Maria Gebhardt

Elizabeth “Beth” Hiltbold Schwartz, a proud Auburn alum, is an associate professor at Auburn University in the Department of Biological Sciences and the department’s Undergraduate Program Officer since 2019. Now, her role will expand with a newly created position, assistant dean of biomedical sciences for the College of Sciences and Mathematics (COSAM).

“I am excited to be able to assess the well-known pre-health program at Auburn University,” said Schwartz. “In addition to updating the overall curriculum, I am looking forward to learning about the specific needs of students who want to attend medical or other professional schools. We want to provide them with the knowledge and skills they need to move forward as future medical professionals making a difference to patients and their entire communities.”

Schwartz earned her bachelor’s degree from Auburn and then her doctorate degree from Emory University. Her research focuses on immunology and host/microbe interactions and has been published and cited in leading journals.

“I will be looking at what we are currently doing and the range of courses we offer these students,” Schwartz added. “I also want to analyze how these courses are scaffolded and if there are opportunities to update the curriculum in ways that would distinguish our program and students.”

Schwartz has received numerous awards and was selected to participate in the 2020-21 SEC Academic Leadership Development Program.

“I am thrilled about the addition of Dr. Schwartz to our team, and I eagerly anticipate collaborating with her to elevate our BMSC program's competitiveness. Together, our goal is to enhance student education and preparation for success, not only in professional and graduate schools but across diverse avenues within the field of health professions,” said Maggie Han, professor of mathematics, associate dean for academic affairs and academic director, Auburn Rural Medicine Program.

She is excited about the opportunities with this new role. 

“I also want to reach out to professional schools and find out what they are seeking,” Schwartz said. “I am anticipating how I can help COSAM students boldly stand out from other applicants with highly competitive medical school applications.”

In the Schwartz Lab, she leads a dedicated team of students in working on host-microbe interactions with an intriguing new research model.

“I want to be a conduit between faculty, staff and students to find more ways we can improve our service to COSAM students and connect to learn how we can reach our students better each day,” Schwartz added.

Schwartz teaches several courses that serve the biomedical sciences students including Immunology (BIOL 5500), Immunology Lab (BIOL 5501 and BIOL 6501), and Case Studies in Infection and Immunity (BIOL 5290 and BIOL 6290).


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