As the associate dean for undergraduate education in Texas A&M University’s College of Veterinary & Biomedical Sciences (CVMBS), Dr. Elizabeth Crouch ’91 is living her dream. Stepping into the role in 2017, Crouch views her job as the perfect way to combine her passion for teaching and administration.
“Although I never anticipated a career as an administrator, this is where I have felt myself making th most impact,” Crouch said. “Serving as associate dean and as an instructor has allowed me to be a positive influence for students both in and out of the classroom.”
Inspired by Crouch’s love for learning and her contributions as an educator, her father, Bob Merriam ’67, wanted to commemorate his daughter’s impact in Aggieland in a tangible way. To her surprise, he created the Elizabeth Anne Merriam Crouch, Ph.D. ’96 Endowed Scholarship to fund scholarships for students in the college’s biomedical sciences program.
Austin to Aggieland
Hailing from a long line of Aggies, Crouch came to Texas A&M already indoctrinated with the Aggie Spirit. Despite growing up in Austin, her parents taught her to proudly wear maroon.
“I remember many trips to Aggieland that were documented with pictures of me in front of Kyle Field,” Crouch said. “I grew up bleeding maroon!”
Crouch’s interest in science can be traced back to her early childhood. Her grandfather, Dr. Dan Roberts ’38, and her uncle, Dr. Clifford Roberts ’63 ’64, both earned their DVM degrees from Texas A&M, which left an indelible mark on Crouch. Being surrounded by doctors sparked her interest in biology and genetics from a young age.
“As a young child, I loved learning about how things worked,” she said. “My grandfather started our legacy at Texas A&M and, more importantly, he cultivated my passion for science, both of which I am immensely grateful for.”
It came as no surprise that when it was time for Crouch’s turn in Aggieland, she focused on her education. While taking courses in genetics and immunology, coupled with courses from the now-defunct biotechnology option in the biomedical sciences degree program, Crouch developed a passion for studying molecular genetics. Her desire to learn quickly led her to the world of research, where her studies focused on molecular biology and disease.
“My research was focused on molecular biology and defining the relationships between various disease processes,” Crouch said. “What fascinated me about research was the possibility of finding new solutions.”
Dedication to Education
After earning her bachelor’s degree, though unsure what her future held, Crouch quickly determined she wanted to continue her education. “I knew I wanted to get a graduate degree, but I did not have a strong desire to attend medical or veterinary school,” Crouch said. “Instead, I was inspired by the guidance of some close professors and my interest in disease research to get a Ph.D. in genetics.”
She credits her success to her passion for genetics, building a strong network and being open to different opportunities, all things strengthened by her time in the CVMBS. When reflecting on her time at Texas A&M, Crouch readily admits that her mentors impacted her the most.
“There were a few individuals I encountered during my time at Texas A&M who became constant teachers for me,” Crouch said. “I had strong faculty mentors whose impact helped me develop a passion for teaching.”
In her role today, Crouch’s contributions to the CVMBS have been far-reaching. In addition to teaching an undergraduate course on phenotypic expression, she has assisted neuroscientists in launching the college’s newest major, the Neuroscience-TPC track, and helped plan for the establishment of a biomedical sciences program. Crouch also added faculty support for the establishment of a biomedical sciences program at Texas A&M’s Higher Education Center in McAllen, Texas. Although the program is only three years old, it is already enhancing educational opportunities for students in the Rio Grande Valley.
“I am excited to continue the excellent educational legacy of the CVMBS so that our mission to educate students who will create a healthier future for humans and animals can continue to be realized,” she said. “It is a privilege to be a part of such a high caliber program. As an administrator and instructor, my main responsibility is helping students succeed while at Texas A&M.”
Influence of Giving
Crouch loves her role in the classroom and strives to inspire her students to purposefully pursue their education. With this passion for education and helping others learn in mind, Crouch’s father was inspired to establish a scholarship in her name.
“Elizabeth’s intellectual curiosity, motivation, dependability and enthusiasm inspires everyone she meets,” Merriam said. “She is a lifelong learner who will continue to do great things.”
Crouch herself is no stranger to giving to Texas A&M either. Before her father created a scholarship in her name, she established the W. Dan Roberts, DVM ’38, Endowed Scholarship in honor of her grandfather. The scholarship supports biomedical sciences students pursuing a pre-veterinary track with an interest in equine medicine.
“My family saw this scholarship as a fitting tribute to his love of education, discovery and equine veterinary medicine,” Crouch said. “His impact is what allowed me to cultivate a deep understanding on the importance of education.”
When reflecting on their impact, these scholarships mean much more to Crouch than supporting a Texas A&M education. It means the continuation of her and her family’s Aggie legacy.
“I am beyond humbled and grateful to now have a scholarship in my name,” Crouch said. “These scholarships mean that our legacies will last forever and that Aggie students will continue to thrive in the biomedical sciences program.”
To learn how you can support students in the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences through scholarships, contact Jordan Kuhn, assistant director of development, at (979) 845-9043 or by submitting a message using the form below.