Promotions for four Department of Chemistry faculty members have been approved by the University of Michigan Board of Regents. Promoted to the rank of associate professor with tenure are Charles McCrory and Ginger Shultz, with Pavel Nagorny and Paul Zimmerman promoted to the rank professor. The appointments are effective September 1, 2022.
Professor McCrory is an inorganic and materials chemist with a specialty in electrochemistry. His research focuses on chemistry that is relevant to production of fuels in a carbon neutral manner and in solar energy systems.
In recommending him for promotion, the dean summarized his accomplishments: “ Professor McCrory has developed a detailed understanding of the reduction of CO2 based on catalysts within controlled chemical environments, paving the way for efficient use of this reaction in producing fuels from solar energy. He is teaching some of the largest and most important classes in the department in an effective and novel way. His service contributions, especially related to improving climate, are at the highest level.”
McCrory will also become associate professor of macromolecular science and engineering, without tenure, in the College of Engineering.
Professor Shultz is a chemical education specialist. Chemical education research (CER) is concerned with how chemistry is learned and taught. Her research program is aimed at understanding how: (1) college-level chemistry instructors learn to teach, (2) writing contributes to conceptual learning and reasoning, and (3) disciplinary thinking in chemistry and science develops. An overarching objective is to improve teaching of chemistry. She has also been an effective teacher of large organic chemistry classes.
In recommending her for promotion, the dean wrote: “Professor Szymczak * has developed an excellent program of research at the interface of chemistry and education. She has uncovered mechanisms of how college-level teachers gain and use pedagogical content knowledge and proposed methods for improved teaching as a result. She has identified how novice and expert students approach solving chemical problems, leading to insight into how to better teach new students. She has developed and implemented a novel approach to write-to-learn in STEM with potential for large scalability. Her teaching and service record indicate a committed and excellent professor with attention to DEI.”
*Note: Professor Shultz appears in the Regent’s materials with this name: Ginger VS Szymczak
Professor Nagorny is an organic chemist whose research emphasizes synthesis of natural products and development of new chemical tools for synthesis. He teaches courses that span beginning to advanced levels and represent the core of the curriculum. For three years, he chaired the Chemistry Graduate Recruiting Committee with a focus on activities to promote a diverse graduate student applicant pool.
In summary, “Professor Nagorny’s research in synthesis and development of synthetic tools has high interest for chemists and application to fields such as drug development. His teaching is characterized by continued improvement and spans a broad portfolio of courses. He is a fine university citizen with attention to DEI.”
Professor Zimmerman is a computational chemist who has developed new approaches to predict chemical reactions and properties. He has developed an outstanding international reputation, especially for reaction discovery and prediction. He has consistently provided high quality instruction, including fresh approaches that relate chemistry to important societal issues, to both undergraduate and graduate students. He has worked well to engage students in his classes even during the transition to online courses. He is mentor to large number of students.
As the dean summarized: “Professor Zimmerman has developed creative advanced computational methods for studying a wide array of significant chemistry problems, developed an appropriate teaching portfolio and mentored an exceptional number of advanced students with success, and contributed service to enhance industrial collaboration and computational education on campus.”