Bio chair to retire in 2019


Jacob Dear

Dr. Steve Ailstock has taught at AACC for 41 years.

Christian Richey, Associate Editor

The academic chair of the Biology Department will retire after this semester following a 41-year career.
Dr. Steve Ailstock, the director of the AACC Environmental Center, started working at AACC in 1978. In that time, he worked with the Departments of the Navy, Defense and Agriculture in efforts centered around the preservation and restoration of damaged ecosystems.
“It’s been fun,” Ailstock said about his years at AACC.
But Ailstock noted he is looking forward to pursuing more recreational activities in his retirement.
“The biggest reason [for my retirement] is I am very outdoor oriented,” Ailstock said. “So, all of the things that I like to do both professionally and recreationally tend to be tied to outdoors and outdoor environments. And having the option to go pursue those activities, weather permitting, is very, very appealing to me.”
Dr. Lance Bowen, dean of science, technology and education, said many around campus would miss Ailstock.
“I think he’s going to leave a big hole,” Bowen said. “I think he’s been a mentor for a lot of folks. He has served probably in every capacity on just about every committee that has ever been on campus.”
Second-year history student Bob Walton said Ailstock’s commitment to the college is commendable.
“It’s a lot of dedication for a man to be at one school,” Walton said. “Props to him.”
Morgana Hepburn, a second-year American Sign Language and interpreting student, noted the significance of Ailstock’s tenure.
“I haven’t even been alive for 40 years, so he’s got more dedication than I do right now,” Hepburn said.
The Biology Department will select Ailstock’s successor within the next month, according to Bowen, though he noted, “I don’t think you could replace Steve Ailstock.”