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Annual Report Text, 1996-1997

Dr. Stewart's research group has started work on a new project that involves applying the expertise they have developed in the synthesis of tin(II) complexes to the field of asymmetric synthesis. Sarah Cortright, Mike Struck and Ryan Spangler worked on the project during the academic year. Sarah is being joined this summer by Autumn Prillwitz from Michigan State University and Fabiola Angulo Romero, from University of Guanajuato, Mexico. Initial results look very promising and the students are working hard to optimize reaction conditions. The only downside to the project is its emphasis on organic synthesis, causing Hope's organic faculty to think they have a new recruit. Dr. Stewart assures them however, that the metal is still the most interesting aspect of the project.

Dr. Stewart was also involved in a major course renovation this year. In connection with the work she has been doing with New Traditions at UW-Madison, she developed a new inorganic chemistry course that focuses on active learning. Students worked with model kits, solved problems in small groups, and gave presentations on various applications of the main group elements. The presentations ranged from the chemistry of synthetic diamond to using chlorine to control zebra mussels at the water treatment plant here in Holland. A student advisory panel was formed to provide Dr. Stewart with on-going feedback. Students were most enthusiastic about the opportunity to forge links between inorganic chemistry and their own areas of interest.

Dr. Stewart traveled to several different parts of the country last year. She served on an external review panel for the chemistry department at Colorado College, gave a workshop on cooperative learning at San Jose State University, and attended a meeting on cooperative learning hosted by the National Institute for Science Education at UW-Madison.

Dr. Stewart's son, Robert, has been joined by a little sister, Katie, who was born last summer. Katie, like her brother, is full of energy and enthusiasm. There is never a dull moment at home.