Faculty Profile: Frank Frey

Jaclyn Cohen

“I have a lot of interests, I suppose,” Assistant Professor of Biology Frank Frey said.

Between working with students in the lab, taking an active role in the athletics department and playing bass in a rock band, Frey’s pursuits are certainly diverse and have made him a staple in the Colgate community.

Frey received his Bachelor of Science from Pennsylvania State University and his doctorate in evolutionary biology and plant sciences from Indiana. He was initially indecisive about his major, but after obtaining a job doing research in a biology lab, he discovered his calling. Frey has been passing on this enthusiasm to his students ever since.

In fact, it was the opportunity to do research with students that attracted Frey to Colgate.

“I was looking for the opportunity to get students involved in research that we could publish,” he said, “And this seems like a really good place to do that because the students here are incredibly talented academically and very creative. They’re authors on papers published in international journals and that’s pretty unique about Colgate.”

Frey has received a great deal of attention for a paper he co-wrote with former students Annika Lindgren ’06 and Maggie Eldridge ’05 about floral color variation that was featured in a science column on the ABC News web site.

“I’ve published a lot of different kinds of articles but it’s never made mainstream news before, so it’s kind of weird but it’s also a lot of fun,” Frey said.

In addition to working with students in the lab, Frey interacts with students through other venues as well.

In fall of 2005, Frey was asked to be a guest coach for one of the women’s basketball games.

“I didn’t get to call any plays or anything, but it was a lot of fun,” he said. “It was great for me to see the students in my class in that different environment.”

Since last year, Frey has been the liaison to the field hockey team, acting as a mediator between athletics and academics.

“The point is to have professors associated with teams so we have a better perspective of what Division I athletics means in terms of commitments,” he said. “I go to practices once a week, all the home games and spring training. It’s a fantastic program.”

Frey has also become an umpire for Hamilton Little League.

“It’s something I have a lot of fun doing and is very rewarding,” he said.

He is also the bass player for the band Dangerboy. This group consists of Frey, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, guitarist and lead vocalist Aaron Robertson and Professor of Psychology and drummer Scott Kraly.

“They’re both really talented musicians,” he said of his band mates.

The repertoire of Dangerboy, which Frey described as “alternative American rock,” consists mainly of covers with a few originals in the mix.

This summer, they plan to record an album. While looking forward to this prospect, Frey finds the live performances enjoyable.

“It’s one of the greatest things,” he said. “Much like being involved in athletics, it’s another way for me to interact with students outside the classroom.”

Frey has had numerous occasions to perform with Dangerboy, playing at fraternities, bars and even spring party weekend for the past two years. They are scheduled to make this year a third. Although he has enjoyed the demand for his band, he hopes to see more student bands form as well.

“It’s great that Dangerboy is so popular, but it would be great if there were tons of other bands as well,” he said. “I hope that Colgate sees an influx of student bands.”

Frey also looks forward to his continued interaction with students both inside the classroom and out.

“I hope I get to continue to be involved in athletics,” he said. “On the academic side, [I hope] that I continue to get students interested in biology and make them comfortable to pursue their own ideas.”