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Gavin Lawson

Dr. Gavin Lawson
Associate Professor
Department of Biology

Although he was intrigued with genetics and evolution in high school, Dr. Gavin Lawson absolutely hated doing dissections – so much so that he earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees in geology before switching to biology for his Ph.D. He says one can appreciate the irony that at Bridgewater College he teaches Human Anatomy, Advanced Human Anatomy and Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy.

As pre-medical adviser, Lawson has played a pivotal role in bringing BC to the attention of medical schools in Virginia. One of his first advisees, Matt Huffman, was smart, personable and hard-working. With lots of potential, Huffman was accepted into three med schools.

In relating to students, Lawson draws on his own past experiences. Once, he stayed up late to study for an exam and overslept the next morning. Fortunately he had a very understanding professor, and the experience gave Lawson empathy for his students. He also helps provide strategies for them to apply to graduate school.

In 2005, Lawson received the College's Ben and Janice Wade Outstanding Teaching Award. He has also been selected for Who's Who Among America's Teachers in 2002, 2007 and 2009.

At BC, Lawson is a member of the Council on Education, he serves on the General Education Committee and the Committee on Institutional Effectiveness in Academic Affairs.

Students who take ES 186 Medieval Swordsmanship may encounter a different aspect of Lawson's personality. The class is an introduction to the study of the medieval longsword (a two-handed sword approximately four feet in length) primarily in the German tradition of the late 14th and early 15th century. Lawson also serves as faculty adviser for Comitatus, a student club dedicated to the instruction in and safe practice of the Western Martial Arts (the armed and unarmed combat techniques of medieval Europe and Britain).

At home, Lawson enjoys gardening with his wife, playing Pokemon with the kids and hiking with the family. In addition, he is a wargaming enthusiast. Wargaming is a genre of games where the players assemble armies and conduct battle on a game board using dice to determine the outcomes of shooting, movement and assaults. Lawson plays Warhammer 40,000, a science fiction/fantasy miniatures game that takes place in the 41st millennium.

Lawson received a B.S. degree from the University of Illinois, Urbana and earned an M.S. degree from the University of Arizona, Tucson and a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois.