Dr. Gregory J. Grant, Irvine W. Grote Professor of Chemistry, will be honored with the American Chemical Society (ACS) Award for Research at an Undergraduate Institution on Tuesday, March 29, in Anaheim, California, where the 241st American Chemical Society National Meeting will be held. Grant’s award is the pinnacle recognition for a chemist whose focus is on research with undergraduate students.
“Only one person in the United States receives this award each year so it is an incredible recognition of a career of scientific research with undergraduate students,” said Dr. Tom Rybolt, UC Foundation Professor and Head of the UTC Department of Chemistry.
Grant will receive a monetary award and UTC will receive a grant; travel expenses will be provided for Grant to attend the awards ceremony.
The ACS Award for Research at an Undergraduate Institution, sponsored in 2011 by Research Corporation for Science Advancement, honors a chemistry faculty member whose research in an undergraduate setting has achieved wide recognition and contributed significantly to chemistry and to the professional development of undergraduate students.
Grant has a long history of including students in his research, many of whom go on to graduate programs, according to Dr. Victoria Steinberg, UTC Faculty Senate President.
“Dr. Grant’s work epitomizes the liberal arts tradition of helping to shape students’ lives and not just their work, a particularly vibrant tradition in the Chemistry Department at UTC as a whole,” Steinberg said.
One of Grant’s former students, Dr. Andrea Goforth, is teaching at Portland State University as Assistant Professor of Chemistry. Goforth will be among Grant’s former students who will present her research at the ACS meeting in March. An inorganic chemist like Grant, Goforth specializes in the synthesis and characterization of nanoparticles for medical applications.
“As my honors freshman chemistry professor, Dr. Grant got me interested in doing research. At that time, I was pre-med and I didn’t know anything about careers in chemistry,” Goforth said. “After working for years with Dr. Grant, I was prepared to handle graduate level research. My undergraduate research experience was the single most important factor in determining the career path I chose.”
Over the years, Grant has emphasized preparing undergraduate students in his research program to make professional presentations at ACS meetings. His students have presented at over 100 regional, national and international chemistry conferences.
“Being able to participate as a contributing scientist at an ACS Meeting is a real motivation for these students. One of my roles as a mentor is to train students to be professionals. These skills can be translated into other professions besides chemistry,” Grant said.