Connecting campuses to promote excellence in math and science

Janet Andersen Lecture AwardJanet Anderson - Hope College Math Professor

Established by the Midstates Consortium for Math and Science in 2008

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 accepts nominations for this award each spring. The nomination deadline for the 2020-2021 award is March 31, 2021.  Please submit nomination letters as a pdf on College letterhead and include a current CV for the nominee.  The award recipients are selected by the Executive Committee at their spring meeting (usually held in April or May).

Send nomination material or any questions to Dr. Edward Hansen, Midstates Consortium Director, Please note that nominations will be considered for 3 successive years without the need for resubmission.

2020 Janet Andersen Lecture Award Recipients


Biological Sciences and Psychology

Leah Chase

Dr. Leah Chase

Professor of Biology and Chemistry

Hope College, Holland Michigan


The nomination letter for Dr. Chase describes her vigorous program of interdisciplinary research involving undergraduates, and her engaging and skillful approach to teaching a wide range courses in chemistry, biology and neuroscience.  She has advised 114 research students.  Seventy six percent of her research students have pursued post-graduate education.  She uses a wide variety of pedagogical approaches in her teaching which highlight fundamental concepts, essential lab skills, an appreciation of scientific literature and development of writing abilities.  The anecdotes found in teaching evaluations show that her students have great affection and respect for her as a teacher.  Beyond her research and teaching accomplishments, she is recognized as the guiding force behind the establishment of the interdisciplinary Neuroscience Program at Hope College. In addition to being the founding faculty member of the program, she served as the Neuroscience Program Director for 11 years.  She is also noted for extraordinary service activities that support students at the departmental, divisional, and college levels.  Among these is the development of K-12 outreach programs to promote interest in neuroscience and to encourage young students to study science and mathematics.

Physical Sciences, Math, and Computer Sciences

James Doyle

Dr. James Doyle

Professor of Physics

Macalester College, Saint Paul Minnesota


The nomination letter describes Dr. James Doyle’s broad interdisciplinary interests in research and education and the large impact this has had in both undergraduate research and curriculum at Macalester College.  Dr. Doyle’s primary research focus is in materials and plasma physics, and he has published papers with faculty and undergraduate student collaborators in chemistry, geology and environmental studies.  He has mentored over 50 students, 16 of whom appear as coauthors on scientific papers.  Recently he has shifted his research efforts into sustainable energy and electrical grid modelling and within a few years of entering the field has already published in some of its more prestigious journals.  He has been a successful teacher in a wide range of courses, large and small, introductory and advanced, for science majors and non-science majors.  He is the only physics professor at Macalester to teach every one of the eight core curriculum courses required for the physics major.  In addition he has taught topics courses in Renewable Energy, Digital Electronics, Biophysics, Semiconductor Device Physics, Chemical Physics, and other areas, including courses cross-listed in the Environmental Studies, Computer Science, and Chemistry programs.



View Previous winners