2008 Distinguished Science Communicator.
Dr. Seeley's efforts toward encouraging students to think critically by using information to solve problems earned him the Idaho Academy of Science Distinguished Science Communicator Award.
Rod was born in Rupert, Idaho. His father farmed and worked as an industrial mechanic in agricultural-related industries. His mother worked as a grocery store cashier, receptionist for a dentist, and for the irrigation district. He attended Minidoka County High School (Minico) in Rupert, where he played football and graduated in 1964. Rod said he loved biology since 5th grade, and that terrific high school biology teachers promoted his interest.
Rod earned a B.S. in zoology from Idaho State University, M.S. in zoology from Utah State, and Ph.D. in zoology from Utah State University. He joined the Idaho State University Biology Department in 1973.
During his time at ISU, Dr. Seeley served as a mentor to 17 graduate students and guided them to the successful completion of their degrees. He also supervised the teaching internships of 11 Doctor of Arts students. Rod is known as an excellent teacher with the unique ability to convey complex topics in a way that excite students.
In 1982, Dr. Seeley and Dr. Trent D. Stephens began a collaboration that continued for 24 years and resulted in 15 textbook editions. In 1989, along with Dr. Phil Tate, the three published the first edition of Anatomy and Physiology (McGraw-Hill) and are currently working on their 8t" edition. This textbook has had a huge impact on biology undergraduates interested in medical sciences throughout the United States. A short version--Essentials of Anatomy and Physiology--is now in its 6th edition. These books reflect Rod's commitment to science education, especially in the areas of anatomy and physiology.
In addition to his textbook, Dr. Seeley has published papers in respected, peer-reviewed journals such as Biology of Reproduction. Some of his publications are pedagogical in nature, including an important work on methods for measuring the development of critical thinking skills.
Rod served as chairman of the Idaho State University biology department from 1986-2001. He was recognized as a Master Teacher five times (1980, 1981, 1982, 1983 and 1985) and received the Distinguished Teacher Award in 1986 (an honor awarded only once in a career).
But he is not only concerned with education at the college level. In 1982, he was elected to the school board of District 25 and served as chair of the board from 1984 to 1986.
Dr. R. Terry Bowyer, Chair of the Idaho State Department of Biological Sciences has this to say about Dr. Seeley: "His commitment to educating undergraduates in biological sciences is unsurpassed--he is among the top three teachers I have observed in over 25 years of academic experience."
Dr. Seeley and his wife, Jeanette, ski and play golf. He says "while skiing, one may fall down, but no one keeps scores"--this is why he enjoys winter sports more than summer sports. Rod also has been a runner for approximately 30 years and says he's even been foolish enough to run marathons. Since retiring, he alternates lifting weights with running every other day. He says he feels fortunate to have pursued a career that he enjoyed and offered some worth to students. Rod took pleasure in his research and in working with graduate students, including Doctor of Arts students. And he states that he'll miss teaching anatomy, physiology, and pathobiology. He says "writing texts has been a terrific learning experience for me and it is my hope that our textbooks have encouraged faculty and students to emphasize predictive and analytical thought processes."