Dr. Kenneth BrownDr. Kenneth Brown

Dr. Kenneth Brown, who is the John H. and Jeanne M. Jacobson Professor of Chemistry at Hope College, has been named the 2024 recipient of the college’s annual Vanderbush-Weller Award for having a strong, positive impact on students.

The Vanderbush-Weller Award recognizes and celebrates the work of Hope faculty and staff who make extraordinary contributions to the lives of students, exceeding normal expectations. The award is coordinated by the Student Development office based on nominations from the campus community, and was presented on Friday, April 26, during the college’s annual Diversity Awards celebration.

Brown has been at Hope since 1999. His areas of research, which he conducts collaboratively with Hope students, are electrochemical preparation and characterization of chemically modified electrodes, and environmental justice.

He has received external support for his research from external agencies including the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the Michigan Space Grant Consortium.  He has authored or co-authored articles in scientific publications including the International Journal of Plant Sciences, Journal of Physics and Chemistry Research, the Journal of Electrochemistry, and Analytical Letters.

Brown was appointed to the college’s John H. and Jeanne M. Jacobson Professorship in 2023.  Additional recognition that he has receive from Hope through the years includes having been named an A. Paul Schaap Fellow in 2014 in support of his research and a Global Shalom Fellow in 2014; the Mentoring, Advising and Teaching Award presented by the Dean for Natural and Applied Sciences in 2010; and multiple faculty-development awards in support of his research.

He graduated from Oral Roberts University in 1993 with a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry.  He completed his Ph.D. in chemistry in 1999 at Oklahoma State University, where he held a NASA Graduate Fellowship.

The “Vanderbush-Weller Development Fund” was established in honor of longtime Hope professor and football coach Alvin Vanderbush, who retired in 1972 and died on Feb. 20, 2005. First presented during the 1997-98 school year, it was created by Ken and Shirely Weller. Ken Weller, who died on March 18, 2022, was one of Vanderbush’s former players and also a former Hope faculty colleague, and was president emeritus of Central College in Pella, Iowa.  Shirely Weller is a 1950 Hope graduate.