Dr. Russell “Russ” E. SheaRetired R-MC Professor of Biology
"Russ's passion for his work was obvious to all who knew him," said R-MC President Robert Lindgren. “He inspired his students to think creatively, both in and out of the classroom and to exceed their own expectations –and he loved doing research. He also showed tremendous courage throughout his difficult illness. His family is in our thoughts and prayers."
Dr. Shea began his career at Randolph-Macon in 1987 after earning a Ph.D. in biology from the University of Pennsylvania where he also served in the classroom. He also taught at Cabrini College and the University of Wisconsin, Madison. In 1994 he was named a Fulbright Scholar and taught at the University of Jordan in Amman. Dr. Shea built an impressive portfolio of professional activity, pursued scholarly research with gusto and compiled an extensive list of publications in notable journals. His service to the college was equally strong, and he served as acting chair of the biology department and faculty representative to the President’s Cabinet. In addition, Dr. Shea also served on a host of important committees, including the Committee on the Faculty.
In 2000, Dr. Shea was the recipient of a kidney donation from colleague Dr. George Spagna Jr., a physics professor at Randolph-Macon, in a highly magnanimous and humanitarian gesture. Dr. Shea’s health continued to be problematic, however, and in 2007 he formally retired from the college with the provision that he would continue doing research, as his health would allow.
"This is a tremendous loss," said President Lindgren, "but we will always remember Russ for the warmth and kindness he showed to everyone he met."
Dr. Shea, a native of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, is survived by his wife Beverly and their children Ellie, Max and Clara.