Lightning Strikes Twice

For the second time in two years, an incoming member of the chemistry faculty has received a prestigious faculty start-up award from the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation. Simon Garcia, who joined the department in the summer of 2006 as an assistant professor, received an unrestricted grant of $30,000. In 2005, John Hofferberth won the same award.

"The Dreyfus Foundation awards are among the most prestigious in chemistry," says department chair Scott Cummings. "The Dreyfus philosophy is to find the cream of the crop, in order to support new faculty who are setting up undergraduate research programs. Simon was one of only seven recipients nationally this year. Receiving two Dreyfus awards in two years is a spectacular recognition of chemistry research at Kenyon."

The foundation's faculty start-up awards are intended to support independent research by new tenure-track faculty at primarily undergraduate academic institutions. Garcia's research project-- "Molecular control of crystal growth will enable the rational synthesis of nano­structured metal oxide materials"--involves a class of reactions important to nanotechnology.

While using some of the Dreyfus funds to purchase equipment and materials, Garcia will devote much of the grant to stipends for student research assistants participating in the Summer Science Scholars program. Funds will also be used to send students to conferences to present their research.

Garcia, who came to the College from the National Institute of Standards and Technology, specializes in physical and theoretical chemistry.

Garcia earned his BA at the University of California, San Diego, and his MS and PhD at Cornell University. He is teaching courses in introductory chemistry and inorganic chemistry. His areas of expertise encompass material science, the study of materials in the solid state, and, more specifically, crystal growth, with a focus on metal oxides.