Dreyfus Foundation Award Supports Chemistry Lectureship and Research

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The Harvey Mudd College Department of Chemistry has been awarded a 2015 Jean Dreyfus Boissevain Lectureship for Undergraduate Institutions by the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation. Boissevain Lectureship awards provide support to bring a leading researcher to a primarily undergraduate institution to give a series of lectures in the chemical sciences, as well as to support two undergraduates in the 2016 chemistry Summer Research program.

For its visiting lectures, the chemistry department has invited Timothy Swager, the John D. MacArthur Professor of Chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the faculty director of the Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation. Swager’s research interests are focused in the areas of synthetic, supramolecular, analytical and materials chemistry, with an emphasis on the synthesis and construction of functional assemblies. Gerald Van Hecke ’61, the Donald A. Strauss Professor of Chemistry and a colleague of Swager’s for many years, further notes, “Professor Swager is also renowned as a luminary in the field of liquid crystal research.”

“We’re very excited to have Professor Swager interact with our students, especially the first-year class,” says Kerry Karukstis, the Ray and Mary Ingwersen Professor of Chemistry and department chair. “With over 60 patents issued and numerous significant awards for his creativity, innovation and technological inventions that have significantly benefited society, Professor Swager epitomizes the Harvey Mudd College mission statement.”

Swager will visit Harvey Mudd March 7–8, 2016, to give both a public evening lecture and a technical seminar in the 5-C Chemistry Seminar Series. Students in several chemistry courses will have the opportunity to interact with him to learn more about his research and entrepreneurial activities.

The Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation, a leading nonprofit organization devoted to the advancement of the chemical sciences, was established in 1946 by chemist, inventor and businessman Camille Dreyfus. Jean Dreyfus Boissevain, his wife, was president of the Foundation from 1956 until her death in 1991.

The Harvey Mudd College Department of Chemistry is committed to a challenging curriculum and extensive hands-on experience with modern instrumentation and computation, and provides a broad-based education with an emphasis on problem-solving skills. The department’s robust research program—more than 80 percent of chemistry majors conduct research prior to their senior year—gives students a leading role in solving problems and independence in guiding the direction of the project.