Dr. Michael Seymour, professor of chemistry at Hope College, has been named director of the Midstates Consortium of Math and Science.
He took office on July 1 and is directing the program in addition to serving on the Hope faculty.
The Midstates Consortium for Math and Science was established in 1988 through a grant from the Pew Charitable Trusts. The consortium seeks to improve undergraduate science and mathematics education by providing high-quality and flexible professional development opportunities for students and faculty at the member institutions. Major activities include two annual symposia on undergraduate research hosted at Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Chicago, faculty development workshops, and exchange programs that support visits of students and faculty members to other member schools to give presentations or to enhance research collaborations. In addition to Hope, the consortium’s members are Beloit College, Carthage College, Colorado College, Grinnell College, Gustavus Adolphus College, Knox College, Lawrence University, Luther College, Macalester College, St. Olaf College, the University of Chicago and Washington University in St. Louis.
Seymour completed his undergraduate degree in chemistry at St. John’s University in 1972 and his doctorate at the University of Arizona in 1978, the same year that he joined the Hope faculty. Major themes during his career have included the development of novel ways to use emerging computer technology to enhance student learning in the chemistry laboratory and the presentation of outreach activities to get young students excited about science and to improve the science background of K-8 teachers. He has also involved Hope students in collaborative research within his specialty of analytical chemistry.
His tenure at the college includes having served as chairperson of the Department of Chemistry for 10 years. He received the college’s Janet L. Andersen Excellence in Teaching Award in 2013, and in 2011 he was among the Hope faculty who helped present the national webinar “Transformational Learning through Undergraduate Research and Creative Performance” through the Council on Undergraduate Research. He has also been a principal investigator or co-principal investigator on multiple National Science Foundation grants to Hope in support of student research.