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Mark Bessom Gorman (1952-2001).

Mark Bessom Gorman, age 48, associate academic dean, Baldwin-Wallace College, Berea, OH, three years in addition to 15 years in other capacities, died 18 August 2001 at his home in Berea from lung cancer. The author of numerous articles in refereed journals and in the newsletters of professional societies, Gorman fashioned a dual career in industry and academe. He joined The Ohio Academy of Science, affiliating with Section Genetics and Cell Biology and serving as Academy vice president and Section chair in 1991 and 1992.

Born 8 November 1952 in Salem, MA, Mark Gorman received a B.S. in biology from Marietta College, Marietta, OH, in 1974. That fall he entered the University of New Hampshire, Durham, as teaching assistant and graduate student, receiving an M.S. in genetics in 1976. His thesis concerned "An Electrophoretic Study of the Genetic Variation in the Commercial Soybean Germplasm." Doctoral courses in agronomy. and plant breeding followed at Iowa State University, Ames, where Gorman was a research associate (1976-1978), an instructor of genetics (1979-1980) and a research technician (summer 1980). His research at Iowa State centered on Robertson's Mu element in corn. Gorman did not take a degree from the university but instead returned to the University of New Hampshire as a research assistant (1980-1983), where he received a Ph.D. in genetics in 1983. His doctoral study included courses in genetics, molecular biology, plant breeding, evolutionary biology, plant biochemistry and statistics; his dissertation, "An Electrophoretic Study of Genetic Variation in Cultivated and Wild Soybean," extended his earlier graduate research by quantifying the genetic diversity of wild and cultivated varieties of soybeans. Dr. Gorman was assistant professor of biology (1983-1989) at Baldwin-Wallace College, where he taught introductory biology, honors biology, genetics and molecular biology, and research consultant (1984-86) in the biotechnology group of The Standard Oil Company, his research aimed at breeding herbicide-resistant varieties of alfalfa. He was a Cleveland teaching intern (summer 1984), Cleveland City Schools, in a program sponsored by Standard Oil, and a research associate (summer 1988) at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, collaborating with Dr. Christopher A. Cullis, a plant molecular biologist, in mapping the genome of flax. Dr. Gorman was associate professor (1989-1994), assistant academic dean (1994-1998) and associate academic dean (1998-2001) at Baldwin-Wallace College.

Dean Gorman investigated the genetic diversity of soybeans and flax and bred corn and alfalfa for yield and other agronomic characteristics. Among his publications is "Genetic Variation of Soybean Germplasm," coauthored with Y. T. Kiang, Y. C. Chiang, and J. Y. H. Doong in Proceedings of the International Symposium on Exploration and utilization of Plant Genetic Resources (1986), the culmination of his graduate research and of a $125,000 United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) grant (1983). Other publications in the fields of agronomy and plant genetics are "Soybean," coauthored with Y. T. Kiang, a chapter in Plant Genetics and Breeding (1983) and "Constructing a Genetic Map of Flax Using Morphological, Biochemical and RFLP Markers," coauthored with Cullis in Proceedings of the 54'b Flax Institute (1992). Dr. Gorman presented papers at meetings of The Ohio Academy of Science and the 19th Annual University of California, Los Angeles, Symposium on Molecular and Cell Biology (1990). In addition to the USDA grant, Gorman received two Baldwin-Wallace College Faculty Development Summer Grants of $2,000 (1986 and 1989), a National Science Foundation grant of $35,000 (1989), a Gund Grant of $2,000 (1993) and a Martha Holden Jennings Foundation grant of $8,000 (1994).

Dr. Gorman was a member of the Genetics Society of America, the American Genetics Association and the Cleveland Regional Association of Biologists. He reviewed grant proposals for the National Science Foundation, the USDA and Baldwin-Wallace College, and manuscripts for W. C. Brown and West Publishers, The Journal of Heredity, Crop Science, and The Soybean Genetics Newsletter. Gorman conducted workshops for science teachers of high school advanced placement courses and a biotechnology summer camp at Baldwin-Wallace College for 40 high school students. He delivered speeches before students and members of civic organizations on the value of biotechnology and science literacy. To further these goals he served on the State Ohio Teacher Education Critique Committee.

Wife Jackie Gorman; sons James of Chengdu, China, and Will of Berea; mother Martha of Marblehead, MA; and two sisters survive. His memorial service was held 20 August 2001 at the John Patrick Theater, the Kleist Art and Dance Center, Baldwin-Wallace College. Friends may make contributions to the Mark Gorman Scholarship Fund in care of the Development Office, Baldwin-Wallace College, 275 Eastland Road, Berea, OH 44017. Retained on file in the office of The Ohio Academy of Science is the obituary "Mark B. Gorman" from the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
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Title Annotation:Necrology
Author:Cumo, Christopher
Publication:The Ohio Journal of Science
Article Type:Biography
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 1, 2004
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