Scott Rawlins Named Professor Emeritus

By Caitlin Burns | June 8, 2020
Rawlins demonstrates his work with clay models before illustration begins.

Scott Rawlins, professor of Scientific Illustration, has been named Professor Emeritus at Arcadia University after 26 years of teaching and scholarly excellence. 

Rawlins, who retired in August 2019, served as the first full-time professor of Scientific Illustration at the University. He notes that then-Beaver College had one of the first Scientific Illustration programs in the country, and was one of the smallest schools to offer the specialty. Until he was hired in 1994, the program was run by part-time faculty from the Biology and Art departments.

“It’s both an honor and a responsibility to be Professor Emeritus,” said Rawlins. “It’s a position of greater freedom, as I still retain my title and status. It’s also a position of responsibility where you continue to be connected to the University, which I welcome because it’s really quite part of my life. It’s how I define myself, what I do, and where I do it. Having this reason to remain part of that community is important to me.”

Highlights of Rawlins’ career at Arcadia includes bringing the international meeting of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators to campus in 2015, as well as his array of study abroad experiences through Preview, Global Field Study, and other research programs, which took him to England, Scotland, Chile, Cuba, Italy, the Virgin Islands, Belize, Brazil, Egypt, and Kenya.

Outside of class, Rawlins is also known as a compassionate mentor to the students he has advised throughout his career. His two key pieces of advice to students: “Don’t be afraid of making mistakes, that’s what you’re in school to do,” and “To retain the sense of wonder that kids have about the world.” They’re his keys to success.

“I think that’s very important for artists to find interest in so many different things for inspiration,” said Rawlins. “You don’t want to become too jaded, too critical, too bored. You want to see each day as an opportunity to try new things.”