As a child, Violet Imhof Meek dreamed of becoming a scientist. She was constantly curious about how things worked, and thought the field presented a great opportunity to learn. Ms. Meek worked hard to achieve her goal, earning a Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude, from St. Olaf College in 1960 and a Master of Science from the University of Illinois in 1962. She was encouraged by a professor to turn her focus to chemistry, so she obtained a PhD in chemistry from the University of Illinois in 1964.
Degrees in hand, Dr. Meek set out to advance her industry. She started out as an instructor of chemistry at Mount Holyoke College, but she left to join Ohio Wesleyan University a year later. During her two decades there, she moved through roles like assistant professor, professor, and dean of educational services. Dr. Meek then took what she learned to the Council of Independent Colleges, where she served as the director of annual programs, and to The Ohio State University, where she served as the associate director of sponsored program development for the Research Foundation. She spent the last decade of her career as the dean and director of The Ohio State University at Lima. She retired in 2003.
Outside of the universities, Dr. Meek felt a strong need to serve others. She thus became ordained as a Lutheran pastor in 2003 and maintained the role at the Emanuel Lutheran Church in Logan, Ohio, until 2014. Ever since then, she has been a pastor emerita at the institution. Dr. Meek strongly believes in working for the greater good, so she found her time with the church very rewarding. Some other civic organizations she has lent her time to include the Columbus Rotary Foundation, the Allen County Chamber of Commerce, the Lima Symphony Orchestra, the Trinity Lutheran Seminary, the Deaconess Community for the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, and Lutheran Campus Ministries.
As a testament to her success, Dr. Meek was honored with a number of accolades over the years. Some notable ones include the Athena Award from the Lima/Allen County Chamber of Commerce, the Woman of Distinction Award and the Golden Paradigm Award from the Appleseed Ridge Girl Scout Council, and the Outstanding New Professional Award from the Midwest Region of the National Council of Research Administrators. Additionally, she was featured in numerous editions of Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Education, Who’s Who in the Midwest, Who’s Who in the World, and Who’s Who of American Women.
When Dr. Meek isn’t working, she enjoys music, skiing, woodworking, traveling, and studying Civil War history.