Celebrating 30 Years of Teaching, Mentoring, and Service
Since 1989, Dr. Barbara Gastel has served Texas A&M University, first as an Associate Professor of Journalism and of Humanities in Medicine, then as a Professor of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences. She developed and currently directs the master’s graduate program in science and technology journalism in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
Through her scholarship, service, and mentorship, Dr. Gastel provides vision, structure, and an overall philosophy that empowers women to success in their chosen fields.
Dr. Gastel served as a leader in the field of science communication in her role as editor-in-chief for 12 years of CBE Views (the flagship journal of the Council of Science Editors) and its successor, Science Editor. She is the author of four books on science writing and editing, and has written more than 40 articles in peer-reviewed publications and over 80 articles in other outlets.
Dr. Gastel is also a valuable contributor to AuthorAID (http://www.authoraid.info/en/), a non-profit organization that helps researchers in developing nations publish their work in English-language journals. In addition to providing unique, timely, and consequential content to the organization’s website, Dr. Gastel travels the globe to present workshops on science and health communication, including in countries such as Bangladesh, Cuba, Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nepal, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, and Rwanda.
Through her teaching and mentoring efforts, Dr. Gastel also developed and united a field of up-coming science writers, editors, and academics. Dr. Gastel directs the master’s program in science journalism where she trains the next generation of science communicators. This program prepares students for varied careers in science and medical communication, including science writing and editing, public information and other related fields, and academic and research appointments.
“Since I’ve graduated, Dr. Gastel has been invaluable whenever I’ve been considering a major career move. Although I know she has a lot on her plate, she has never been too busy to talk things through with me, “ says Christina Sumners, Communications Manager at Texas A&M College of Medicine. “She has helped me weigh the pros and cons of my different options and figure out what I want, without interjecting her own opinions. This approach to mentoring has helped me navigate the first few years of my professional career far better than I could have on my own.”