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EVP Kraig Sheetz to Cycle Across Country in Support of School of Natural Science and Mathematics

Donna Klinger

sheetz tour feature

The bucket list of Mount St. Mary’s University Executive Vice President Kraig Sheetz, Ph.D., has always included cycling across America from coast to coast. An avid cyclist, he expected to cross this goal off his list when he retired from the Army. However, he accepted a position at Mount St. Mary’s University as dean of the School of Natural Science and Mathematics and deferred his dream because a two-week window between jobs wasn’t nearly long enough for a 3,800 mile journey across 14 states by bike.

Three years later, Sheetz, now executive vice president, is ready to embark on this two-month adventure, set to begin May 23 in Florence, Oregon and end July 25 in Washington, DC. As he filled in colleagues, alumni and students on his plans, they suggested that he connect with friends of the Mount and communicate with the Mount community along his route.

The personal dream has evolved into an opportunity to invite the Mount community to come along for the ride and support the expansion of the School of Natural Science and Mathematics facilities, made necessary by pressing needs for additional academic space on campus due to overall student enrollment growth, increased interest in STEM majors and the addition of programs in data science and neuroscience.

The Tour de Sheetz website will allow the Mount community to follow the journey through the Rocky Mountains, across the Great Plains, and finally beyond the Midwest to the rolling hills of Pennsylvania and ultimately the C & O Canal National Historic Park. The website will track the ride and related fundraising support as well as feature vlog posts about Sheetz’s travels and the science of biking. Sheetz’s route calls for the committed cyclist to ride 50 to 100 miles a day and includes six rest days. Accompanying him on the journey is his wife, Lori, coordinator of the university’s computing education in the School of Education, who will be riding parts of the route and driving their truck/camper.

“I invite Mounties to check out the route and see if there’s any place that you could come ride with me. Whether it’s for a few minutes, hours or days, I would love the chance to see you and talk about the exciting happenings at the Mount,” Sheetz said. “If you can’t join, I hope you will follow along through the website and vlog. I can already tell that the Mount community’s support will help push me on when my legs give out on challenging days.”

The university will break ground next summer on a 10,000 square foot $4.1 million addition to the Coad Science Building that will include new classrooms, laboratories, “classatories,” offices, and collaborative meeting space to enhance the student learning environment. The work is expected to be completed by the fall of 2023.

Built in 1964, Coad is a three-story 50,100 square foot building serving the School of Natural Science and Mathematics, which has outgrown the space. The Coad addition will be configured for modern teaching methods and pedagogy and offer improvements in quality, efficiency and functionality. The new classroom and lab spaces will be technology-rich, multi-use, flexible and configurable for a variety of instructional formats and class sizes. Specific goals for the building addition include a design that promotes spontaneous interaction; is flexible and adaptable; and provides natural light.

Donna Klinger