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Janna McLean

College of Arts and Sciences

Ph.D., 1990, Carnegie Mellon University
B.A., 1983, Hope College

 Since 2009, Dr. McLean has headed Olivet’s College of Arts and Sciences as dean. She works closely with the Dean’s Cabinet and General Education Committee to enhance the quality of education offered at Olivet. As an academic leader, she welcomes opportunities to mentor faculty and staff, helping them develop to their potential. Presenting faculty workshops gives Dr. McLean the opportunity to share what she is learning with her colleagues.

Over the years Dr. McLean has taught genetics, developmental biology, principles of biology, biology lab and seminars. At Olivet she enjoys teaching the Biology I and Research courses.

Mentoring students in their undergraduate research projects is one aspect of teaching that Dr. McLean particularly enjoys. She has worked closely with more than 20 students in conducting research, presenting their findings at regional or national meetings and publishing papers. She and her students have presented their work for the annual college of Science and Math Student Symposium and the Truman Undergraduate Research Conference.

As a biology professor, Dr. McLean co-authored an introductory biology lab manual (Outernet Publishing LLC). Her discovery learning approach is grounded in problem-based learning laboratory experiences. Students design, develop and carry out their own experiments.

Her personal research interest is in the study of Drosophila melanogaster [fruit fly]. She is a frequent presenter at the Drosophila Genetics Research Conferences.

Outside the classroom and office, Dr. McLean enjoys gardening, crocheting and making soap. Reading and writing for fun are other ways she likes to spend her leisure time. An animal lover, she has adopted both dogs and cats.

An ordained elder in the Presbyterian Church, she has served the Lord in many ways, including leading Christian education and campus ministry committees and singing in the choir. Currently, she is a member of First Presbyterian Church in Kankakee and serves on the Finance Committee.

She and her husband, John, have two sons, Peter and Reid, both college students. Peter is a student at Olivet, majoring in business. Reid is a biology major at Truman State University.



Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.