posted March 18, 2010

Hope Science Division Honors Two Professors

The Division for the Natural and Applied Sciences (NAS) at Hope College has honored two faculty with awards designed to recognize excellence in teaching or research.

Dr. Kenneth Brown, associate professor of chemistry, has received the "Dean's Science Division Mentoring/ Advising/ Teaching Award."  Dr. Nathan Tintle, assistant professor of mathematics, has received the "Dean's Science Division Faculty Promise for Excellence in Research Award."  Both awards were announced during a luncheon at the college on Thursday, March 18.

In addition, during the luncheon the division announced that the research award is being named in honor of Dr. James N. Boelkins, who is retiring at the end of the year after serving as provost at Hope since 2002.  The provost is the college's chief academic officer.

The "Mentoring/ Advising/ Teaching Award" recognizes a faculty member who has gone beyond the call of duty in being an exceptional mentor, advisor and teacher to students.  The winner is selected by a panel of students.

The "James N. Boelkins Science Division Faculty Research Award" will rotate in alternate years between junior and senior faculty, starting with the selection of a junior faculty recipient this year. Junior is defined as someone with less than 10 years experience as a doctorally-prepared faculty member. The award for junior faculty is named the "James N. Boelkins Natural & Applied Sciences Division Faculty Promise for Excellence in Research Award," while the senior faculty recognition remains the "James N. Boelkins Natural & Applied Sciences Division Faculty Research Award."  The research awards are based on research accomplishments including publications, grant awards, significant presentations at professional meetings, and external professional recognition. For the Promise award, emphasis will be placed on the potential of the recipient, as viewed by colleagues for significant future accomplishment in research scholarship. The winner is chosen by an anonymous panel of faculty members from among nominees by the division's department chairs and the dean.

"At Hope College, particularly in the NAS Division, the excellence of our academic program is driven by having a faculty who are not only outstanding and innovative teachers, they are also exemplary mentors who are productive researchers," said Dr. Moses Lee, who is dean for the natural and applied sciences as well as a professor of chemistry at Hope.  "I would categorize the nominees for the awards as truly exceptional and each one would deserve the recognition. I am very proud of the dedication and accomplishments of Drs. Brown and Tintle and all of my colleagues, and am humbled to serve as their leader."

Brown has been a member of the Hope faculty since 1999.  He teaches courses in general chemistry and analytical chemistry in addition to mentoring students through collaborative research during both the school year and summer.

The student nominations on his behalf praised his frequent in-class demonstrations, clarity, enthusiasm, approachability and engaging teaching style.  The nominations further cited his passion for teaching and commitment to ensuring that his students understand the material as well as the significance of its applications.

"He challenges you but doesn't let you struggle," one student wrote.  Another noted, "every day in class you can tell that this is exactly where Dr. Brown wants to be."

Brown's research emphasis is in electroanalytical chemistry, and his current focus is on the electrochemical preparation and characterization of chemically modified electrodes.  He has had articles published in a variety of research publications, with the majority of them including student co-authors.

He graduated from Oral Roberts University in 1993 with a major in chemistry.  He completed his doctorate in chemistry at Oklahoma State University in 1999. 

Tintle, a member of the Hope faculty since 2005, is engaged in statistics genetics research.  His current projects include innovations in the design and analysis of genome-wide association; an interdisciplinary effort to extend the capability of the RAST (Rapid Annotation using Subsystems Technology) genome analysis service; and innovations to the curriculum of the college's statistics courses.

Tintle has received major external research support from agencies and organizations including the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.  In January 2008 the college named him a "Towsley Research Scholar," recognition that included additional support for his ongoing research.  His work has so far resulted in 14 peer-reviewed publications, many of which include student co-authors.

He graduated from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Albany in 2000 with a major in mathematics, and completed Master of Science and doctoral degrees in statistics at SUNY-Stony Brook in 2003 and 2004 respectively.

While completing his graduate work Tintle was lead statistical analyst with the department of psychiatry at SUNY-Stony Brook, which he continues to serve as a consultant.  His publications include articles based on both his primary and ongoing interest in statistical genetics and his work with SUNY-Stony Brook's researchers in psychiatry.