Mary K. Carroll '86, professor of chemistry, has been named director of undergraduate research effective Sept. 1.
Carroll, who holds a B.S. in chemistry from Union and a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from Indiana University, was the first Union alumna to return to campus as a tenure-track professor, in 1992. She has a long-standing involvement with undergraduate research, including sponsoring students for NCUR, summer research and Steinmetz.
Her appointment was announced by Union President Roger Hull, who is stepping down June 30.
“Mary knows firsthand about the importance of undergraduate research at this institution. Under her leadership, research at Union will continue to develop and receive the kind of recognition from the external world that it deserves,” Hull said in his announcement.
He noted Carroll's involvement in the aerogels collaboration with mechanical engineering. “At the recent Steinmetz Symposium, she organized and chaired the aerogels session, which had five student presentations,” he said. “Mary will oversee our participation in NCUR, summer research, the IEF fund, Steinmetz and the new undergraduate research Web site. I can't think of a more capable, committed or energetic person for this important role.”
Carroll is active in the American Chemistry Society (ACS). She is a member of the ACS Committee on Education and served on the ACS Women Chemists Committee from 2001 to 2004. She also is a councilor of the Eastern New York Section of the ACS.
Her appointment, Hull said, comes in response to the Academic Reputation Committee recommendation that the College provide a high level of support for and communication about its signature programs.
Undergraduate research is one of the five pillars of a Union education, along with study abroad, community service, converging technologies and the Minerva House System.
Carroll said she is “thrilled to have this opportunity to oversee this key aspect of our campus community. We're doing phenomenal things with undergraduate research. The program has been very vibrant and successful at sustaining itself, but the time has come to make sure everyone knows about it.”
A native of Spencerport, N.Y., Carroll joined the College faculty 13 years ago as an assistant professor of chemistry, six years after graduating magna cum laude with election to both Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Xi. She worked as a research assistant with Leslie Hull, professor of chemistry, and also did research with Tom Werner, her senior thesis advisor.
At Indiana, Carroll held a teaching and research assistantship and earned the Robert Chernin Memorial Award (for excellence in first-year graduate research), a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship and an American Chemical Society Division of Analytical Chemistry Full-Year Fellowship.
After completing her Ph.D. in 1991, she took a position as a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
From 1992 to 1994, Carroll held the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Assistant Professorship in Chemistry at Union; in 1996, she was awarded Union's Stillman Prize for Excellence in Teaching.