Meredith College Professor of Biological Sciences Erin Lindquist passed away on Friday, August 2, following a long battle with cancer.
An award-winning teacher, Lindquist taught biology and environmental sustainability courses at Meredith since 2006. During her time at Meredith, she coordinated Meredith’s Environmental Sustainability major and minor, facilitated significant grants, and directed numerous undergraduate research projects.
Those who worked with and learned from her say she was fiercely passionate about many things, including her family, students, research, and the environment.
Meredith Provost Matthew Poslusny describes Lindquist as an “inspiration to students.”
“I was always very impressed with the opportunities Erin created for her students, especially related to the environment,” he said.
Poslusny said Tropical Ecosystems, the summer study abroad course she led in Costa Rica, was one of the most powerful ways she had an impact on students.
“Those were such transformative experiences for our students, experiences that they will never forget,” he said.
Lindquist’s teaching was shaped by her dedication to research, which focused on forest ecology and conservation. She maintained a long term tropical forest regeneration study in Costa Rica and co-authored a bilingual plant taxonomy book of the trees of her study area with two undergraduate students.
She co-founded the Ecological Research as Education Network (EREN), a National Science Foundation-funded national research network for faculty and students at Primarily Undergraduate Institutions (PUIs). As part of EREN, Lindquist was co-lead scientist on the Permanent Forest Plot Project (PFPP).
Diagnosed with cancer in 2012, Lindquist continued teaching, conducting research with students, and leading field experiences in Costa Rica while receiving treatment.
President Jo Allen remembers Lindquist as a fighter. “…We watched Erin fight for days, weeks, months, and years to live her best life with her precious family, contribute to the learnings of her own students and others, and inspire us all to do the same,” Allen wrote in an email tribute message to the Meredith community. “…She was a warrior – strength personified – and we are humbled by her fierce dedication to all things she valued, knowing we were among those she cherished.”
A memorial service was held Saturday, August 10 in Jones Chapel. The service featured remembrances from friends, family, and Meredith colleagues, who shared how Lindquist had made an impact on their lives.
Family and friends have established the Dr. Erin Stewart Lindquist Scholarship Fund at Meredith College. To make a gift in Lindquist’s honor, visit meredith.edu/give. To ensure contributions are properly designated, select ‘other’ and type Dr. Erin Lindquist Scholarship Fund.
Checks can be mailed to Meredith College, Attn: Institutional Advancement, 3800 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, NC 27607. Please write ‘Dr. Erin Lindquist Scholarship Fund’ on the memo line of the check.