From the Desk of Dean Reeder

Dear Alumni and Friends:

Summer has flown by and fall is at our doorstep. It has been a busy and productive summer in the Dean’s office and the Bayer School. I passed my one year anniversary as Dean on July 1, 2014, and I can honestly say that I really enjoyed my first year. The learning curve was rather steep at first, I think because I came to Duquesne from the University of South Florida, a 48,000 student, state university where every process and initiative seemed to take forever to promulgate. I really enjoy and appreciate Duquesne for its intimacy, among many other things.

In July I took my first extended vacation since I assumed the Dean position, and I want to tell you a bit about that adventure. It occurred three hours south of Pittsburgh in West Virginia. My family and I rented what they call a “pioneer cabin” for seven days in Kumbradow State Forest. No electricity, indoor plumbing, or running water. Light came from propane lanterns, the stove was wood-fired, the bathroom was an outhouse and water was pumped at a nearby hand-pump well. The one luxury was a propane powered refrigerator that actually worked very well. What made it “so horrible” in my three sons’ opinions (ages 15, 13 and 11), was that it was in a cellphone “dead zone” where their most valued handheld devices were useless. Once they realized this, after the initial shock, they moved on pretty quickly and we had fun hiking, fishing, playing games and talking. I must admit though, the look of joy on their faces as we drove down out of the mountains and they got their first cell signal in a week, was priceless.

The 2013-2014 academic year data is in and I am happy to report that the Bayer School received $3.4 million in new grant funding. Faculty members also published 51 peer-reviewed journal articles and filed eight patent applications. Professors Fraser Fleming (chemistry and biochemistry), John Stolz (CERE and biological sciences) and Nancy Trun (biological sciences) were inducted into Duquesne's Office of Research Hall of Fame in recognition of their outstanding research. Professor and department chair Dr. Ralph Wheeler was elected to the governing board of the Council for Chemical Research, and Duquesne University President’s Awards for Faculty Excellence were awarded to Dr. John Stolz (CERE and biological sciences) for Service to the Mission, and Dr. Tomislav Pintauer (chemistry and biochemistry) for Research Scholarship.

In additional to our three Goldwater Scholars, which was reported in the spring issue of Spectrum, two recent Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry graduates were awarded Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowships, which are a nationally competitive, prestigious pathway into teaching for gifted undergraduates.

Congratulations to our dedicated students, faculty and staff on their accomplishments. Also, if you ever want to donate to any of the worthwhile endeavors going on in the Bayer School, feel free to contact me to discuss the details.

Best Wishes,

Philip Reeder, Ph.D.
Dean, Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences

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