posted January 20, 2010

Geraldine Richmond to Present Neckers Lecture

Dr. Geraldine L. Richmond of the University of Oregon will present two addresses while on campus to deliver the annual James and Jeanette Neckers Lectureship in Chemistry at Hope College on Friday, Jan. 22.

She will discuss "Going Nonlinear to Study Environmental Processes at Liquid Surfaces" as the Neckers Lecture at 4 p.m.  She will also speak earlier in the day, presenting "Achieving Diversity in Science and Engineering:  Why is it so Important?  Why is it so Difficult to Achieve?" at 11 a.m.  Both addresses will be in Winants Auditorium of Graves Hall.

The public is invited to both events.  Admission is free.

Richmond's 4 p.m. address will focus on her research, which uses laser-based spectroscopic techniques and molecular dynamics simulations, regarding the behavior of water surfaces when in contact with molecules of importance in the environment.  Her 11 a.m. seminar will consider reasons that the nation's science and engineering work force doesn't reflect U.S. demographics and explore possibilities for change.

Richmond is the Richard M. and Patricia H. Noyes Professor of Chemistry at the University of Oregon.  Her research uses nonlinear optical spectroscopy and computational methods applied to understanding the chemistry that occurs at complex surfaces and interfaces that have relevance to problems in energy production, environmental remediation, atmospheric chemistry and biomolecular surfaces.

She has more than 160 publications and has received numerous awards, including the ACS Garvan Medal, the ACS Spectrochemical Analysis Award, the Spiers Medal of the Royal Society of Chemistry, a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Bomem-Michaelson Award. She has been selected as a fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the AmericanAcademy of Arts and Sciences.  She is the founder and chair of COACh (Committee on the Advancement of Women Chemists), an organization assisting in the advancement of women faculty in the sciences and has been honored for these and related efforts by the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science and Engineering Mentoring, the ACS Award for Encouraging Women in the Chemical Sciences and the Council on Chemical Research Diversity Award.

The James and Jeanette Neckers Lectureship and Student Assistance Fund through which Richmond is speaking was established in 1984 by Dr. James W. and Jeanette Hoffman Neckers, members of the college's Class of 1923, to support annual lectureships in chemistry. Through additional gifts from Dr. Neckers, the fund was expanded to include student summer research stipends and student scholarships.

James Neckers was chairman of the Department of Chemistry at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale for 37 of his 40 years at the university. Under his leadership, the department grew from a three-year offering in chemistry to granting the doctorate; the faculty grew from three to 23. Jeanette Neckers died on June 10, 1992, and James Neckers died on May 8, 2004.

Graves Hall is located at 263 College Ave., facing College Avenue between 10th and 12th streets.