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College of Arts and Sciences|Diamond Jubilee -- 75th Anniversary

Heywood R. Sawyer

Doctor of Philosophy - 1973 - Zoology

Heywood Sawyer is a convert to the West. The North Camlina-born Sawyer says he believes his UW education and the "overall experience" here is the reason he's now a westerner.

Sawyer began his teaching career while working on his master's and PhD in cell biology at UW. After graduating, he did postdoctoral studies at the University of California, Davis, specializing in muscle biology. In 1975, he went to CSU as a postdoctoral student in reproductive biology, and was appointed to the CSU faculty in 1976. His department head describes Sawyer as "among the best teachers in a department with a reputation for excellence in teaching," and praises his role in revitalizing the school's interdepartmental graduate program in cell and molecular biology. Sawyer's major teaching and research interests focus on mechanisms of hormone action and reproductive physiology. He has worked with NASA colleagues on projects in cell biology and regulation of the cell cycle. He's received NASA Achievement Awards in 1990 and 1991. His research findings have appeared as dozens of articles in scientific journals, published abstracts, and book chapters. Despite a busy teaching and research schedule, Sawyer makes time for service to his university. His committee work includes the University Intercollegiate Athletic Committee, the College Instruction Resource Development Committee, and several others. He also supervises the transmission electron microscopy facility integral to the Animal Reproduction and Biotechnology Laboratory. He remembers attending, with his wife, their first UW home football game: "It was cold and windy -- real windy!! UW kicked off and it looked as if the ball would carry to the end zone, but the wind caught the ball and the distance traveled was -- 20 yards!"

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Diamond Jubilee Outstanding Alumnus

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