Saturday, July 18, 2015

The Chemistry Administration

The leadership skills of the chemistry faculty are remarkable.  Recently Bill Feighery (our inorganic chemist) chaired the Department of History and Doug McMillen (our organic chemist) served as Dean for the College of Health Sciences.  Both Feighery and McMillen have also served as assistant or associate dean for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. For the past six years, Gretchen Anderson (our biochemist) has chaired our department. These three professors make up half of the full-time faculty and their leadership is still desired across campus.  

For the 2015-2016 academic year McMillen will continue as one of three associate deans for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.  Feighery takes the reins as chair of our department, though he is not a newcomer to the role of chair having lead us for many years before Anderson.  He is very excited to welcome our new hire, Shahir Rizk, as our second biochemist, who will help maintain and develop our growing biochemistry program. Feighery's immediate plans are to make curriculum changes to maintain our American Chemical Society accreditation under their new requirements and to find ways to attract new students to our programs.

Anderson embarks on a role new to her and new to the campus: Director of Science Initiatives. Her biggest task is probably the pursuit of new science programs such as nanoscience, pharmecutical science, and pharmacy. Anderson will make new connections with industry and arrange for collaborations and internships for all of the science departments. She will also continue to foster relationships with the IU Medical School, IU Cancer Center, and other medical centers - particularly in the area of scholarship and research opportunities.  Anderson is eager to work with physicist Jerry Hinnefeld who was named the Chancellor's Professor for 2015-2016 as they advance the Year of Science.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Professor Muna ReceivesTenure

Assistant Professor Grace Muna was recently promoted to Associate Professor and has also received tenure. Muna is known for her ability to take struggling students and motivate them to succeed. She is our only analytical chemist and is solely responsible for the two upper-level courses C-310 Analytical Chemistry and C-410 Instrumental Analysis which combine lecture and laboratory components. Muna is one of our most active researchers and routinely mentors undergraduate students in research. This summer she is working with SMART student Chris Warkentin

Their summer research involves testing the analytical performance of biometallic modified glassy electrodes in the hopes that they will offer improved analytic detection of aqueous steroid hormones over nickel modified electrodes. The metal combinations are Pt/Ni, Pd/Ni, and Pt/Pd.

In addition to her (1) ongoing research this summer, Muna is (2) teaching the summer section of our freshman general chemistry course C-106, (3) developing a new course for freshman students who are in the awkward position that they have placed out of, or already taken, C-101 but are not yet ready for C-105, and (4) preparing a proposal for her research sabbatical in the Spring 2017 semester. With a summer like this, she must be eager for the fall semester to begin.

Congratulation Professor Muna on your promotion and tenure!