Joint Science Department Wins Inaugural Boissevain Grant

The Joint Science Department of CMC, Pitzer and Scripps Colleges received a 2010 Jean Dreyfus Boissevain Lectureship for Undergraduate Institutions grant from the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation.

The Joint Science Department was one of four academic institutions, along with Bucknell, Holy Cross and Western Washington, to receive a Boissevain Lectureship grant in its inaugural year.

The Boissevain Lectureship program brings a leading professional in the chemical sciences to campus for a two-day visit. During this time, the Boissevain Lecturer will work closely with undergraduate students and faculty, give a lecture at the Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum and a seminar to the chemistry department, and participate in teaching a new seminar class.

The $18,500 grant award will also fund two student research scholarship positions over the summer.

These students Andrew Vinson ’11 and Su Anne Lee SC ’14 were selected this spring by the department to receive a 10-week research fellowship supervised by a chemistry faculty member. Vinson will be conducting research for his senior thesis with Anna Wenzel, assistant professor of chemistry, and Lee will work with Kathleen Purvis-Roberts, associate professor of chemistry.

In its winning grant submission, the Joint Science Department proposed inviting a high-ranking female executive from the chemical industry to be its Boissevain Lecturer during the 2011-12 academic year. Approximately 80 percent of chemistry graduates at the Joint Science Department over the past five years have been women.

“The Boissevain Lectureship will enable our students to interact with a leader in the chemical industry, and will expose them to career opportunities in this field,” states Purvis-Roberts. “This opportunity is invaluable to our students, and we are grateful to the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation for their generous grant.”

The purpose of the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation is to advance the science of chemistry, chemical engineering and related sciences as a means of improving human relations and circumstances. Established in 1946 by chemist, inventor and businessman Camille Dreyfus as a memorial to his brother Henry, the Foundation became a memorial to both men when Camille Dreyfus died in 1956. Throughout its history the Foundation has sought to take the lead in identifying and addressing needs and opportunities in the chemical sciences.