posted February 6, 2006

Talks to Examine Diversity Programs and Research

Dr. Isiah Warner of Louisiana State University will present two addresses at Hope College on Thursday and Friday, Feb. 16-17, while visiting campus as the college's Neckers Lecturer in chemistry.

He will discuss "Models for Creating and Sustaining Diversity among Undergraduate Students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics" on Thursday, Feb. 16, at 4 p.m. in room 1000 of the college's science center as an interdisciplinary seminar.

Warner will deliver the address "Novel Separations Using Molecular Micelles in Capillary Chromatography" on Friday, Feb. 17, at 4 p.m. in room 102 of VanderWerf Hall as the department of chemistry's annual Neckers Lecture.

The public is invited to both presentations. Admission is free.

Warner is the Boyd Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Vice Chancellor with the Office of Strategic Initiatives at Louisiana State University.

His talk on Thursday, Feb. 16, will focus on two ongoing programs at Louisiana State University for enhancing the participation and education of a diverse group of undergraduate students in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM): the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Professors program and the Louisiana-STEM (LA STEM) program. The two programs are designed to respectively enhance the educational performances of at-risk and high-achieving diverse student populations.

His Neckers Lecture on Friday, Feb. 17, will focus on his ongoing research program. Warner is a leader in the development of chromatographic and electrophoretic separations and spectroscopic detection in complex chemical systems, key elements of research and discovery from basic chemistry to medicinal diagnostics.

Warner has been at Louisiana State University since 1992, joining the faculty as the Philip W. West Professor of Analytical and Environmental Chemistry. He served as chair of the Chemistry Department from 1994 to 1997, and was appointed Boyd Professor of the LSU System in 2000. He became the vice chancellor for strategic initiatives in 2001.

His success in promoting diversity within chemistry was recognized by his appointment as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor at LSU. Under the appointment, he has developed a project titled "An Innovative Hierarchy Model for Integrating Research, Education, and Peer Mentoring."

Prior to joining LSU, he had taught at both Texas A&M University and Emory University. He had also worked for Battelle Northwest in Richland, Wash.

Warner has more than 230 published or in-press articles in referred journals since 1975. He has given more than 400 invited talks since 1979, and has received several patents on his discoveries. He has chaired 31 doctoral theses since 1982, and is currently supervising 13 other Ph.D. theses.

He was born and raised in Louisiana, and graduated cum laude from Southern University in 1968. He completed his doctorate at the University of Washington in 1977.

Warner's address on Thursday, Feb. 16, is sponsored by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Program at Hope. The program, which supports development of interdisciplinary research and teaching opportunities in science, engineering, mathematics and nursing, was made possible through a four-year, $1.5 million grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in 2004.

The James and Jeanette Neckers Lectureship and Student Assistance Fund through which Warner is speaking on Friday, Feb. 17, was established in 1984 by Dr. James W. and Jeanette Hoffman Neckers, members of the college's Class of 1923, to support annual lectureships in chemistry. Through additional gifts from Dr. Neckers, the fund was expanded to include student summer research stipends and student scholarships.

James Neckers was chairman of the Department of Chemistry at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale for 37 of his 40 years at the university. Under his leadership, the department grew from a three-year offering in chemistry to granting the doctorate; the faculty grew from three to 23. Jeanette Neckers died on June 10, 1992, and James Neckers died on May 8, 2004.

The science center is located on 12th Street at College Avenue. VanderWerf Hall is located on 10th Street between Central and College avenues.