Kerr to Receive George I. Alden Excellence in Teaching Award

May 5, 2008
By: Worcester State University News

Associate Professor of Chemistry Margaret E. Kerr, Ph.D., will receive the George I. Alden Excellence in Teaching Award during the college’s commencement services at the DCU Center on Sunday, May 18.

Dr. Kerr has received widespread recognition for her leadership in the development of green chemistry curricula, a teaching approach that reduces the use or generation of hazardous substances during chemical processes. Under her direction, Worcester State College adopted a green chemistry curriculum for its organic laboratory sequences four years ago, the first school in the area to do so. Last year, she received a Fulbright Senior Scholar grant to support university green chemistry curriculum development, K-12 outreach, and the creation and expansion of green chemistry networks in Southeast Asia.

Dr. Kerr, who is part of a collaboration between the University of Oregon and Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand, spent the fall 2007 semester at Chulalongkorn University. In addition to promoting curriculum development, she worked on building networks to sustain forward momentum in green chemistry research.

Among her students, Dr. Kerr is known as a dedicated, innovative instructor who adapts her classes to accommodate individual learning styles. She also serves as the advisor of the Pre-med/Allied Health Club and is a co-coordinator for the Summer Enrichment Program at UMass Medical School, a program designed to increase the number of under-represented and disadvantaged individuals entering the healthcare and science professions within the Commonwealth.

President Janelle C. Ashley commented, “Dr. Kerr is highly deserving of this award, which recognizes the very best of teaching at Worcester State College. In her classes, students are trained to become innovative, meticulous scientists. They are also instilled with the ideals of sustainability and responsibility—attributes that are critical to the future of our planet.”

The George I. Alden Excellence in Teaching Award is awarded annually to a professor who is nominated by his or her students and was established with support from the George I. Alden Foundation.

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