Dr. Mary Spratt, a William Woods University science professor who is nationally known for her tick research, is retiring after 20 years of service at the university.
Known by some as the "tick lady," Spratt is a Cox Distinguished Professor of Science. She is a recognized authority on Missouri ticks.
Spratt, 76, is also known for her work in reestablishing the biological sciences program at William Woods.
WWU President Jahnae H. Barnett said Spratt "has impacted the curriculum and faculty in so many positive ways. She came to develop a science program where one did not exist and built the program from the ground up."
In addition to institutional contributions, Spratt has been active in community and national issues involving biomedical ethics, political issues related to science and medical research.
Numerous WWU students taught by Spratt have become pharmacists, veterinarians, physicians, physician assistants, teachers and scientists.
Spratt used her research on Missouri tick species and their viruses to enhance her classroom instruction. Several of her students have won awards for their participation in this research.
"It has been my passion and joy to bring back an excellent biology program. Students can plan their schedules in advance, get to know the faculty and peers in a supportive environment, and become prepared for and accepted into a variety of professional and graduate programs."