Bettison-Varga became Scripps College’s eighth president on July 1, 2009, and holds the W. M. Keck Foundation Presidential Chair. Prior to coming to Scripps College, Bettison-Varga was provost and dean of the faculty at Whitman College, from 2007 to 2009. Previously, she served as a professor in the Department of Geology and associate dean for research and grants at The College of Wooster, from 2002-2007.
Bettison-Varga’s professional leadership includes the presidency of the Council on Undergraduate Research, in 2006-07; chair of the Geosciences Division, 2002-04, and elected CUR councilor, from 1993-2007. From 2004 to 2007, she served as director of the Keck Geology Consortium, a multi-college collaboration focused on enriching undergraduate education through development of high-quality research experiences. President Bettison-Varga is a member of the newly formed Presidents’ Trust, a leadership group within the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U). She has been the recipient of numerous grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Teagle Foundation, and was the recipient of a Luce Fellowship for Distinguished Scholarship.
As a National Science Foundation Young Investigator (1994-99), a nationally recognized advocate of undergraduate research experiences, and mentor to numerous undergraduates who have gone on to highly successful careers in science, she has worked tirelessly to promote programs and efforts to maximize resources to bring women and underrepresented minorities into science and technology fields. As a teacher and college administrator, her professional life has been dedicated to developing young women become broad and deep thinkers with the tools to negotiate an increasingly complex and multicultural world and a strong set of values to guide decision-making, all of which are critical to the development of the committed and ethical leadership needed in the future.
Bettison-Varga earned a Ph.D. and M.S. in geology from the University of California, Davis, and a B.A. in geology, with honors, from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is married with three children.