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Janet Andersen Lecture Award

2010 Nomination deadline: April 26, 2010

Professor Janet Andersen was a beloved faculty member in the Hope College Mathematics Department and served enthusiastically as the Midstates Consortium Director for five years before her life ended tragically in an automobile accident in November 2005. As a teacher and scholar, Janet was devoted to providing creative, high quality learning experiences for her students, and she herself was always learning as she was teaching. As Consortium Director, she looked for ways to connect with and support natural science faculty, both new and experienced.

To honor Janet Andersen's dedication and commitment to her work with students and faculty in her teaching, research and service to the Consortium, the Janet Andersen Lecture Award was established in 2008. The Midstates Consortium will choose one or two faculty members from one or two of the Consortium member institutions each year to present the Janet Andersen Lecture at one or both of the fall Undergraduate Research Symposia on a topic of his or her expertise. The award recipient(s) will also receive a $300 honorarium.

The Midstates Consortium invites faculty, students, staff and administrators to nominate faculty members in the Consortium for the Janet Andersen Lecture award. We encourage nominations for faculty members of any rank who have vigorous research programs involving undergraduates, who are exceptional mentors for undergraduate research students, who are engaged and skilled teachers, or who create interdisciplinary research opportunities for undergraduate students.

The Consortium will accept nominations for the 2010 award until April 26, 2010. The award recipients will be selected at this spring's Executive Committee Meeting.


2010 Janet Andersen Lecture Award in the Physical Sciences, Mathematics and Computer Science

Professor Graham Peaslee came to Hope College in 1993 after earning an undergraduate degree from Princeton University and a Ph.D. from the State University of New York, Stony Brook.  Graham has a joint appointment in the Departments of Chemistry and Geoloical and Environmental Sciences (GES) at Hope College in Holland, MI.  He is currently the chair of the Chemistry Department and teaches courses in chemistry and GES nd maintains research collaborations with members of both the physics and biology departments.  Graham’s diverse research interests are all related by the use of a range of powerful analytical tools associated with the Hope College Ion Beam Analysis Laboratory. This particle accelerator facility allows Graham and his student, faculty and staff colleagues to perform quantitative elemental analysis on solid, liquid and even aerosol particulate samples.

In the nomination letter signed by six of Graham’s colleagues in the Natural and Applied Sciences Division, Professor Seymour wrote, “He is driven to help students and faculty investigate challenging interdisciplinary scientific questions using whatever resources are most appropriate for the problem at hand. For example, he has taught students how to use the particle accelerator in physics for x-ray analysis of metals in lake sediments for a geology project, another group of students have used the physics-based techniques of Rutherford backscattering to investigate the thickness of an electrochemical sensor for an analytical chemistry project and he has worked with students in the environmental science program to do classical colorimetric chemical tests for the measurement of phosphorous in local ponds. There is no doubt that Graham is a dynamic force in providing students with relevant and challenging research experiences and that he is successful in helping students develop confidence in their ability to do meaningful research.”

 The letter goes on to say that “Graham provides inspiration, great ideas and proven methods for successful teaching and research in an undergraduate setting. He knows what it takes to achieve goals that have been established. Graham often makes the sports anaolgy that Hope is a D-III school with a D-I research program. This is in large part due to the imapct that he has not only on the students he works with, but also on the faculty colleagues with whom he works.“

Dr. Peaslee will present the Janet Andersen Lecture at the Undergraduate Research Symposium for the Physical Sciences, Mathematics and Computer Science that will be held in St. Louis at Washington University on Nov 12 – 14, 2010.

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