Stewart is the Elmer E. Hartgerink Professor of Chemistry at Hope, where she has been a member of the faculty since 1988. Her professional interests span the fields of synthetic inorganic chemistry, chemistry education, and the scholarship of teaching and learning.
The awards honor faculty at consortium-member colleges and universities who have vigorous research programs involving undergraduates, who are exceptional mentors for undergraduate research students, who are engaged and skilled teachers, or who create interdisciplinary research opportunities for undergraduate students. In recognition of the award, Stewart will be an invited speaker at the 2018 Undergraduate Research Symposium in the Physical Sciences, Math and Computer Science at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, in November.
Stewart has been active at the national level for more than two decades in efforts to enhance science education. She was a 2005-06 Carnegie Scholar in the Carnegie Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (CASTL), which engaged 21 college and university faculty in projects that explored the integration of learning across courses, over time, and between campus and community life. She has been a member of the leadership council of the Interactive Online Network of Inorganic Chemists (IONiC) since 2007. In 2012 she was named a Teagle Pedagogy Fellow in the “Lattice for Pedagogical Research and Practice” program developed by the Great Lakes Colleges Association (GLCA) to enhance student learning and achievement.
She has been involved with the writing and administration of multiple grants worth more than $3.9 million from agencies and organizations including the National Science Foundation (NSF) and Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), for projects focused on science education nationally as well as on the Hope campus. Through the years, she has made presentations on interdisciplinary learning and communities of practice at off-campus workshops sponsored by the Mellon Foundation, the NSF and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, among others. She co-edited the 2013 book “Connected Science,” focused on making college science education more effective and engaging.
In 1996, she was one of the first two recipients of the college’s “Provost’s Award for Excellence in Teaching” (now the “Janet L. Andersen Excellence in Teaching Award”). In 2009, she was chosen to speak through the “Last Lecture Series” organized by the college’s chapter of the national Mortar Board honorary society. She was named the college’s first Schaap Fellow in Chemistry Education in 2016. She is a past faculty representative to the college’s Board of Trustees. She has mentored more than 70 undergraduates in collaborative research, in both her current education-focused initiatives and in her work in synthetic inorganic chemistry.
Stewart is a graduate of Kalamazoo College and completed her doctorate at the University of California-Berkeley.
Janet Andersen was a beloved faculty member in the Department of Mathematics at Hope for 14 years and a good friend of Stewart’s, and served enthusiastically as the Midstates Consortium director for five years before her life ended tragically in an automobile accident in November 2005. As a teacher and scholar, she was devoted to providing creative, high-quality learning experiences for her students, and she herself was always learning as she was teaching. As consortium director, she looked for ways to connect with and support natural science faculty, both new and experienced. The Janet Andersen Lecture Award was established in 2008 to honor Janet Andersen’s dedication and commitment to her work with students and faculty in her teaching, research and service to the consortium.
The Midstates Consortium for Mathematics and Science was founded by the Pew Charitable Trusts in 1988. 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. In addition to the two annual undergraduate research symposia, major activities include 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. A total of 22 Hope students were among those who made research presentations during the most recent meetings in St. Louis and Chicago.
Hope is one of 13 colleges and universities that are members of the consortium. The others 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.