||Schofield Hall 218|
||Eau Claire, WI 54702-4004|
New Chemistry Faculty Member|
Receives Dreyfus Grant
MAILED: August 25, 1998|
A new assistant professor of chemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire has been awarded a $20,000 faculty start-up grant by the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation Inc.
Stephen Drucker is one of 10 new chemistry faculty nationwide to receive the award this year under the Faculty Startup Grant Program for Undergraduate Institutions. He follows in the footsteps of UW-Eau Claire colleague Jason Halfen, who was a recipient in 1997.
David Lewis, chair of chemistry, nominated Drucker for the award in June.
"The Dreyfus Foundation understands that seed money is needed to get a research program up and running," Lewis said. "The program targets the best young chemists in the country and favors undergraduate programs that incorporate research into teaching. The fact that two of our young faculty have received awards in as many years speaks volumes about the quality of the people we have joining this department."
Drucker will use the Dreyfus award to supplement the university's start-up commitment to his program and for refurbishing the laser equipment donated by MIT where he most recently was a post-doctoral fellow. "The grant means I will have the funds to hire several students next summer, giving them an opportunity to do science full time and get paid for it," he said.
Drucker's work involves using laser spectroscopy to characterize more precisely the properties of molecules. This knowledge will benefit scientists as they attempt to understand and predict encounters or collisions of molecules. His laboratory is on the first floor of Phillips Science Hall where students will work with him as he rebuilds the laser equipment and gets the program up and running.
Drucker joined the chemistry department this month (August) and teaches general chemistry and physical chemistry courses. He earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Virginia and Ph.D. from Harvard University.
The chemistry department's track record of involving undergraduates in research attracted him to apply to the university and influenced him to accept the offer.
"What is happening here on the undergraduate level is very close to the level found at a research university. This department sees an unusually large percentage of students go on to pursue Ph.D. studies in chemistry, and this reflects a high level of excitement and commitment," he said.
Drucker said a deciding factor in choosing to come to UW-Eau Claire was the quality of the students who interviewed him when he came for his campus interview.
"They were very serious, directed and proactive. I had read the chapter about UW-Eau Claire in Research Corporation's book ("Revitalizing Undergraduate Science"), and these students were exactly as they were portrayed in that book. They made me want to teach here, and I am very excited to get going."
Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: August 25, 1998