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Annual Report Text, 2000-2001

While writing this, Dr. Stewart’s thoughts are more on her sabbatical plans for next year than they are on reviewing the previous year. Next year she will be doing research in the chemistry department at the University of California, San Diego, and she will be taking a graduate course in their Science Studies program. While she is gone, Mike Seymour will act as interim chair.

Before leaving for San Diego, Dr. Stewart is spending the summer working with four Hope College undergraduate research students. One of them, Monica Chernick, is a three-summer veteran of the Stewart group. The other three, Andy Huisman, Joshua Ruch, and Karen Clark are all new students. All four students are working on projects related to the development of enantioselective allyl-transfer reagents.

Last fall semester, Dr. Stewart taught a section of the College’s First Year Seminar (FYS) for the first time. All entering students are required to take an FYS, and teaching the course turned out to be a very rewarding experience. Her students were exceptionally enthusiastic, dedicated, and talented. In Dr. Stewart’s course, the students examined how the makers of science determine what scientific questions are asked and how they are answered. The readings and discussions focused on the roles that gender, race, and ethnicity play in shaping science.

The other great news for the year is that she and Dr. Chris Barney in biology obtained a grant to support undergraduate research in chemistry and biology through the Merck/AAAS Undergraduate Science Research Program. This is the first year that the program has been available nationally and only fifteen awards were made. The three-year grant supports four students each summer who are working at the interface of chemistry and biology. The award serves to strengthen the already close relationship between the two departments. As an interesting aside, the award winners were announced in the now famous human genome issue of Science, right on the back of the first page of the first human genome article.

Dr. Stewart’s children, Robert (6) and Katie (4), are looking forward to their year in San Diego, primarily because of the proximity to Legoland and Sea World. We can only hope that they will not be too disappointed when they learn that there are schools in California, too.