Saderholm Named Berea’s Dean of Faculty


Matt Saderholm

Dr. Matthew Saderholm

Berea College President Lyle Roelofs appointed Dr. Matthew Saderholm as dean of faculty following a recommendation of the dean selection committee. Saderholm succeeds Dr. Chad Berry, who has served as dean since 2011.

“I am honored to be selected as the next Dean of the Faculty at Berea College,” Saderholm said. “The support of my colleagues and administrators has been truly humbling and I will work hard to validate their trust in me. Beyond sustaining the excellent work of our outgoing Dean and Provost, Chad Berry, I will focus on listening to my faculty colleagues so that we can move forward collectively on what is most important.”

A 1992 Berea College graduate, Saderholm won a Fulbright Fellowship and spent a year studying physical chemistry and biochemistry at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich, Switzerland. He earned a doctoral degree in biological chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill under Bruce Erickson, studying de novo protein design, and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Carol Fierke’s lab at Duke University, studying the enzyme mechanism of protein farnesyltransferase.

Saderholm returned to Berea College in 1999 to teach biochemistry, succeeding Tom Beebe, long-time chair of chemistry and one of his mentors. Now in his 20th year at Berea, Saderholm has just completed a five-year term as Division I chair. He served as chemistry department chair, leading the program to earn the approval of the American Chemical Society. He also provided faculty leadership throughout the planning and construction phases of the newly completed Margaret A. Cargill Natural Sciences and Health Building.

Saderholm has taught a wide range of lecture and lab classes at Berea College, including general, organic and biochemistry, and general-education classes across the curriculum. He is known as a strong advocate for evidence-based teaching practices, including a range of active-learning approaches. He has worked with more than 60 undergraduate research students on a variety of peptide-based research projects. His research has been funded by both National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation grants and currently focuses on designing peptide-based substrates for penicillin-binding protein 2, a major source of antibiotic resistance.

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Tags: Chemistry Department, Dean, Dean of the Faculty, Dr. Matthew Saderholm, faculty

Berea College, the first interracial and coeducational college in the South, focuses on learning, labor and service. The College only admits academically promising students with limited financial resources—primarily from Kentucky and Appalachia—but welcomes students from 40 states and 70 countries. Every Berea student receives a Tuition Promise Scholarship, which means no Berea student pays for tuition. Berea is one of nine federally recognized Work Colleges, so students work 10 hours or more weekly to earn money for books, housing and meals. The College’s motto, “God has made of one blood all peoples of the earth,” speaks to its inclusive Christian character.