Natural Sciences Department Chair, Professor of Biology

Mary Elizabeth Shawgo, PhD

Natural Sciences Department Chair, Professor of Biology


BS, Biology, Microbiology Emphasis, Northern Michigan University
Biochemistry and Immunology Graduate Courses, Northern Michigan University
PhD, Pharmacology, University of Kansas Medical Center

Room Location

Resch Sci & Tech Hall 123

Natural Sciences Department Chair, Professor of Biology

Dr. Shawgo loves the process of teaching and learning. As a teacher, Dr. Shawgo strives to create dynamic learning environments for her students. Shawgo’s process involves telling hundreds of small stories and weaving the stories together to show the big picture. Professor Shawgo loves watching as each student’s mental “light bulb” lights up at that “ah-ha” moment.

To help make the course material more accessible, Dr. Shawgo has written texts to accompany her lower level classes. She finds it hard to find a textbook that is just right for your any one particular group of students. She is also currently working on writing textbooks for her upper level courses.

Dr. Shawgo is a conscientious, energetic teacher who is always striving to become better.  She is always on the lookout for more engaging activities for her students, both from her colleagues and from teaching resources.  Dr. Shawgo believes that she can always do better and strives to learn from each experience she has.  Her students recognized this enthusiasm and in 2015 she was awarded Graceland University Alumni Board’s Excellence in Education Annual Award.

Dr. Shawgo has had an active undergraduate research program. As apart of the biology and chemistry major, all students participate in a yearlong capstone research project.  Currently, Dr. Shawgo has supervised 33 senior capstone research projects and 10 students have gone on to present their research local conferences. One student was even co-published with her and a collaborating group from University of Iowa (Müller, S., Strack, S. N., Ryan, S. E., Shawgo, M.E., Walling, A., Chambers, C., Harris, S. L., and Kirby, J. R., (2016) Identification of Functions Affecting Predator-Prey Interactions between Myxococcus xanthus and Bacillus subtilis.  Journal of Bacteriology 198(24):3335-3344.)