DEPARTMENT OF CHEMISTRY
Dear Harvey Mudd Chemists,
Welcome to our sixth Harvey Mudd Chemistry Department Annual Report. It has been a very busy year in the Chemistry Department and the College as well. Strategic planning efforts have kept a lot of committees and task forces very busy. In addition, sabbaticals, leaves, and administrative duties have placed a bit of a strain on the department. Of course, everyone has responded in a way that has put the students first.
The past year, the major areas emerging from the Strategic Planning Process include undergraduate research, curricular reform, and diversity. Undergraduate research is being addressed both through the various departments as well as through the Dean’s office. Task forces have been addressing curricular and diversity issues. These efforts have resulted in (1) an even higher profile for undergraduate research across the College, (2) a proposal on the Core curriculum that will be presented to the faculty in September, and (3) a series of successful diversity workshops for faculty and staff on race, gender, and sexual orientation.
One of the major activities in the Chemistry department this year was a search for a tenure track faculty member. After a national search, the department succeeded in attracting Dr. Katherine Maloney, who will arrive on campus in the fall of 2009 after completing her postdoctoral fellowship. Dr. Maloney received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Pacific Lutheran University (Phil Myhre’s alma mater), a Ph. D. in natural products chemistry from Cornell University, in Jon Clardy’s group, and a postdoctoral fellowship with William Fenical at the Scripps Oceanographic Institute. She will be a great addition to the department and we are all exited that she has accepted our offer to join us.
Additional personnel changes include a new technician, Penny Manisco, who is replacing Camille Nelson who is moving back home to New Jersey. Penny is a former medical technician and school teacher in the area. We are sorry to see Camille go, but are eager to have found such an able replacement.
One other significant personnel change involves Bob Cave’s move into the Dean of Faculty’s position. While we are all sad not to have Bob back with the department, we are excited about the great job he is doing for the College in the Dean’s office.
The last change in the department is that I am stepping down as department chair and taking a much-anticipated sabbatical leave in the spring of 2009. Hal Van Ryswyk has been selected from among a list of very capable colleagues to assume that role beginning July 1, 2008. I would like to thank my colleagues for their support and hard work during the 13 years that I occupied this position. I know that they will do the same with Hal and that the department will continue to excel at what it does best - - to provide the finest undergraduate education in chemistry in the country.
Here’s hoping that your valves never leak, your endpoints are all sharp, your solvents are all dry, your gas tank is full, and the Celtics win again in 2008!
With warm regards,