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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 Chemistry.

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 research.

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, Berkeley.

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