Awards Alumni & Friends

This section of the newsletter is meant to highlight recent notable awards to alumni and friends of the Department. However, just in case anyone happened to miss it, we can’t help but revisit some “old news”: that our illustrious alumnus and friend, Dr. Paul S. Anderson (Ph.D. 1963, R. E. Lyle), retired pharmaceutical industry chemist and former president of the American Chemical Society, was awarded the Priestley Medal in 2006. The award, which was first presented in 1923, recognizes distinguished services to chemistry. It is the ACS's highest honor. Paul’s professional career spanned almost 40 years in the pharmaceutical industry, primarily at Merck and later at DuPont-Merck Pharmaceutical and Bristol-Myers Squibb. He and his charges designed and synthesized numerous compounds that went on to become leading pharmaceutical products. At Merck, Anderson was involved in projects that led to the HIV protease inhibitor Crixivan and the HIV reverse transcriptase inhibitor Sustiva. The medal was presented at the ACS Awards dinner in Atlanta in the spring of 2006 and we are glad to remember that Paul’s doctoral research mentor, Professor Bob Lyle, as able to attend that ceremony.

Brian P. Coppola (B.S. 1978, G. R. Weisman & R. E. Lyle), the Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Chemistry at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, was selected as 2009 U.S. Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. Founded in 1981, the U.S. Professors of the Year Awards Program is the only national program specifically designed to acknowledge outstanding undergraduate teaching. Coppola was selected from more than 300 top professors in the United States. Brian also serves as Associate Chair of Chemistry at UM, Co-Director of the IDEA Institute of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, and Associate Director of the UM-Peking University Joint Institute. He also received the LSA Dean's Excellence in Teaching Award in 2008, a Fulbright Senior Specialist award in 2007, and the James Flack Norris Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Teaching of Chemistry in 2006. Gary Weisman had the honor of introducing Brian prior to his award address at the Norris award event in Boston and several UNH faculty were in attendance.

Judith Harrison (Ph.D. 1989, H. R. Mayne), Professor of Chemistry at the United States Naval Academy was awarded the George L. Braude Award. The Braude Award “honors people who have had significant impacts on teaching and who are collaborating in their research with students and post-doctoral fellows”. The award, endowed by and named for George L. Braude, a chemist with W. R. Grace and the Food and Drug Administration, was presented to Dr. Harrison by the Maryland Section of the American Chemical Society at a meeting of the Maryland Section on October 21, 2009. After finishing her doctoral work at UNH and before joining the Academy faculty, Judith was an Office of Naval Research postdoctoral associate at the Naval Research Laboratory. For the past 18 years, her research has focused on the theoretical examination of nanometer-scale processes, such as indentation, friction, wear, and tribochemistry of hydrocarbon systems. Dr. Harrison joined the Academy faculty as a chemistry professor 16 years ago. She has taught plebe chemistry courses, the Physical Chemistry Course Sequence, Integrated Laboratory for Chemistry Majors, and advised midshipmen doing research projects in their senior year. In 2000, Harrison won the Naval Academy’s Research Excellence Award and the Department of the Navy’s Meritorious Civilian Service Award. 

Sachiko Ito Howard (Ph.D. 1984, J. D. Morrison) is Professor of Chemistry at New England College in Henniker, NH. While it is very old news, we want to note something that we missed in the past – Dr. Howard was named the Professor of the Year at New England College in 2005.

John L. LaMattina (Ph.D. 1975, R. E. Lyle), former Senior Vice President, Pfizer Inc. and President, Pfizer Global Research and Development, received the 2010 Earle B. Barnes Award for Leadership in Chemical Research Management (an ACS national award sponsored by the Dow Chemical Company). John was honored at the ACS Awards Ceremony in March at the 239th ACS National Meeting in San Francisco. Congratulations, John! (Professor Emeritus Paul Jones pointed out that the announcement of Dr. LaMattina’s award in Chemical & Engineering News [Jan. 11, 2010, p. 41] was followed closely by the announcement that his postdoctoral advisor, Edward C. Taylor, was the 2010 recipient of the Alfred Burger Award in Medicinal Chemistry). In 2007, John was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science from UNH at graduation, sharing the stage with former U.S. Presidents George H.W. Bush and William J. Clinton. His doctoral advisor, Professor Bob Lyle was able to attend the reception that the Department held in John’s honor. John was also an Iddles Lecturer at UNH in 2006. While we’re on the subject of John LaMattina, the Department wishes to publically thank him and his wife Mary (UNH Alumna M.Ed 1974) for their generosity in establishing the LaMattina Family Organic Chemistry Fellowship and the LaMattina Family Graduate Lectureship Funds. Several able graduate students’ summer research has been supported and the inaugural LaMattina Family Lecture was presented last fall by Professor Stephen F. Martin of the University of Texas.

Simon W. North (B.S. 1990, G. R. Weisman & H. R. Mayne), Professor of Chemistry and Associate Director of Center for Atmospheric Chemistry and the Environment at Texas A&M University was awarded the 2009 university-level Distinguished Achievement Award in Teaching from the Association of Former Students.
The awards were first presented in 1955 and are given faculty who have have exhibited the highest standards of excellence at Texas A&M.
Simon earned his Ph.D. in physical chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley working with Professor (and Nobel laureate) Yuan Lee. If one looks carefully at those full-page color ads that Texas A&M is running in the Chronicle of Higher Education recently, you may see Simon lecturing at a blackboard.

Michael Strem, founder and President of Strem Chemicals, Inc. and long-time friend of the UNH Chemistry Department and Instrumentation Center, is to be the 2011 awardee of the Charles Lathrop Parsons Award of the American Chemical Society. The Parsons Award recognizes Dr. Strem for his contributions to the future of the chemical enterprise through innovative international programs for young chemists. It also acknowledges his initiatives in forging new collaborations between business and education. Mike has a history of service to the profession, espcially through his active involvment with the Northeast Section and the National ACS. He helped create a U.S./German graduate student exchange program over the last decade through a joint effort of the German Chemical Society and NESACS. Well done, Mike, and well deserved! Of course, many of us with UNH connections know that Charles Parsons was Professor of Chemistry at New Hampshire College (now UNH) and later became the long-time business manager and Secretary of the ACS, essentially running the operation (Parsons Hall is named for him). We like the connections here…congratulations, Mike!