William Polik Named to Hofma Chair in Chemistry
Posted June 27, 2001
HOLLAND -- Dr. William Polik of the Hope College
chemistry faculty has been appointed to a seven-year term as
the college's Edward and Elizabeth Hofma Professor of
Polik is a professor of chemistry at Hope, where
he has been a member of the faculty since 1988. He was
appointed to the chair by the college's Board of Trustees in
May, and was honored during an investiture ceremony held at
Hope on Monday, June 18.
The professorship was established in 1982 by the
Board of Trustees of the Drs. Edward A. and Elizabeth Hofma
Trust, to be held by a faculty member who has a major
responsibility for the instruction of pre-medical students.
Dr. Edward A. and Elizabeth Hofma were long-time residents
of, and physicians in, Grand Haven.
The chair's most recent holder, Dr. Rodney Boyer,
retired at the end of the 1999-2000 academic year.
Polik joined the Hope faculty as an assistant
professor in 1988. He was promoted to associate professor
in 1994, and full professor in 2000.
Courses he taught during the last school year
included "General Chemistry I," "Physical Chemistry II" and
"Structure, Dynamics and Synthesis II"; he also maintains an
active research program involving Hope students. He will be
on sabbatical leave during the 2000-01 academic year.
Polik's specialty is physical chemistry. He uses
lasers to study the details of chemical reactions.
During his time at Hope, he has received 39 grants
and awards in support of his research, has given 41 invited
seminars and has written 39 articles--including 13 co-
authored with Hope students who have worked with him on his
Polik received the "Provost's Award for Excellence
in Teaching" at Hope in 1999, the same year that he received
the Sigma Xi Award for Scientific Outreach at the college.
In 1991, he received a prestigious "Presidential Young
Investigator Award" from the National Science Foundation.
He is currently serving a three-year term on the
national Committee on Professional Training of the American
Chemical Society (ACS).
Polik graduated from Dartmouth University in 1982.
He holds a doctorate from the University of California,