Deans of the Faculty

Lorelle Semley









Madeline Vargas

Madeline Vargas

Madeline Vargas earned her Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut. She joined Holy Cross in 1995, received tenure in 2001 and was promoted to the rank of professor in 2015. Vargas teaches the microbiology curriculum within the Department of Biology and has directed more than 50 students in summer research, independent research or honors theses. She has collaborated with Holy Cross colleagues on inclusive and interdisciplinary teaching, and has presented the results of this shared work at such venues as the American Association of Colleges and Universities and the Center for Inclusive Teaching at the University of Puerto Rico, Humacao campus, and in the journal College Teaching.

Vargas’ research in microbiology focuses on the physiology and ecology of microorganisms, specifically the biochemical mechanisms that enable bacteria to respire with iron and produce electricity, as well as bacteria that thrive in extreme habitats. Her work has been published in high-impact journals Lancet, Nature and Nature Nanotechnology. She received the Arthur J. O’Leary Faculty Recognition Award in 2016.

Over her Holy Cross career, Vargas has served as a member of the Strategic Planning Working Group on the Liberal Arts and a faculty representative to the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee of the Board of Trustees. She served on the Common Requirements Steering Committee from 2018–2020, and also chaired the Committee on Faculty Scholarship and the Committee on Nominations and Elections. Beyond Holy Cross, she serves, and is a member of, the Massachusetts Women of Color Coalition.