posted January 11, 1999

Elrod Named Towsley Scholar

Matthew Elrod of the Hope College chemistry faculty has been named the college's third  "Towsley Research Scholar."

          The award was announced during the college's
  annual Faculty Recognition luncheon, held on Monday, Jan.
          The Towsley Research Scholars Program is funded
  through an endowment made possible through a grant from the
  Harry A. and Margaret D. Towsley Foundation of Midland.  The
  foundation's previous awards to the college have included
  grants for the construction of the Van Wylen Library,
  faculty development in the pre-medical sciences and support
  for an endowed chair in communication.
          Through the Towsley Research Scholars Program,
  newer Hope faculty members receive support for a research
  project for four years.  An additional scholar will be
  appointed each year, up to a maximum of four at a time.  The
  first two scholars are David K. Ryden of the political
  science faculty and J. Jeffery Tyler of the religion
  faculty, named recipients in 1997 and 1998 respectively.
          The award will support Elrod's on-going research
  on atmospheric ozone chemistry, work that he conducts with a
  team of Hope chemistry students.
          According to Elrod, the detailed nature of the
  chemical reactions that control ozone levels in the
  atmosphere has not been fully investigated.  One challenge,
  he noted, is that about 400 different chemical reactions are
  occurring in the atmosphere simultaneously.
          He explained that to understand how they
  interrelate and eventually lead to changes in ozone levels,
  the reactions must be studied individually in a controlled
  laboratory setting.  The individual results can then be
  compiled and predictions for the entire atmosphere can be
  generated with computer models.
          Elrod is studying a particular class of reactions
  involving the methylperoxy radical molecule which are
  suspected to play an important role in ozone chemistry.
          Elrod, who is an assistant professor of chemistry,
  joined the Hope faculty in 1996.  He was previously a
  postdoctoral fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of
  Technology in the departments of chemistry and earth,
  atmospheric and planetary sciences.
          External support for his research on ozone
  depletion has included a "Cottrell College Science Award"
  from Research Corporation; a "Seed Grant" from the Michigan
  Space Grant Consortium; a grant from the American Chemical
  Society, through its Petroleum Research Fund; and a grant
  from the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation Inc., through
  the "Camille and Henry Dreyfus Faculty Start-up Grant
  Program for Undergraduate Institutions."
          Elrod graduated from Grinnell College in 1989.  He
  earned his doctorate from the University of California at
  Berkeley in 1994.