2009 Outstanding Alumni
“Sister Dorothy” has contributed to chemistry education at all levels, from Saturday Science for Children, to conducting workshops for K-12 teachers, developing competency tests and award-winning curriculum materials, to research seminars for college faculty. Dr. Gabel taught at Indiana University from 1974 until retirement in 2003. In 2008, Dr. Gabel was honored at the American Chemical Society (ACS) with the prestigious ACS Award for Achievement in Research on the Teaching and Learning of Chemistry. Dr. Gabel earned distinguished service awards from four professional associations including the National Science Teacher Association’s Carleton Award, its highest honor. For advancing science knowledge she received the Perham Indiana Women of Achievement Award in 2000. Throughout her distinguished career Dr. Gabel remained in her religious order, contributing financially and intellectually to its teaching mission.
Tom is the current president of the American Chemical Society—the largest scientific society in the world—and is scientist emeritus at Dow Corning Corporation where he has more than thirty-five years of research experience in the field of organosilicon chemistry. Tom’s work has allowed him to make significant contributions to the field in the areas of interfacial science, scientific computing, and most recently in the biology and biotechnology of silicon. He holds academic positions in both the US and abroad and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry. Today, Tom’s primary focus is education and putting a human face to chemistry. Tom is actively involved in education at all levels, K- post graduate.
Judy Melville is the Global Healthcare Industry Manager for Solvay Advanced Polymers, a subsidiary of the Solvay Group. She directs the sales and marketing of high performance polymers into the healthcare industry, including the launch of new products such as the introduction of Solviva Biomaterials offered for use in implantable medical devices. Judy has held a number of positions in industry, starting with R&D in Amoco, but broadening to manufacturing, product management, marketing, and sales while also moving with the acquisitions and divestitures from Amoco to BP to Solvay. Technical market knowledge and expertise in plumbing, medical, electronics, membranes, and composites have been acquired over the 15 years spent in sales and marketing positions. The return to the biological aspects of materials, as the manager for the healthcare industry group is a full circle from her experience at Purdue University working on kinetics and NMR studies with Blue Copper Proteins with David McMillin in 1982.
Dr. Molander is currently the Hirschmann-Makineni Professor of Chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania. He received his Ph.D. at Purdue University under the direction of Professor Herbert C. Brown in 1979, and after a postdoctoral stint at the University of Wisconsin, Madison with Barry M. Trost he began his independent career at the University of Colorado, Boulder, moving to the University of Pennsylvania in 1999. He has received several national and international awards for his research in methods development for organic chemical synthesis, and has served as a visiting professor at 11 different universities in Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany, and Russia. He has served on the editorial boards or as editor of several scientific publications and has been active in the governance of the American Chemical Society’s Division of Organic Chemistry. He is currently Chair of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania.
Robert Peoples is Director of the ACS Green Chemistry Institute® where he drives the implementation of the principles of green chemistry across the global chemical enterprise. He also served as Director of Sustainability for the Carpet & Rug Institute, the Executive Director of The Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE), and President of the Environmental Impact Group—his environmental consulting firm. In industry, Bob worked for Monsanto Corporation where he was a member of the team that developed Monsanto’s patented, revolutionary stain blocker and fluorochemistry for the carpet industry. He is a member of California’s prestigious Green Ribbon Science Panel and an internationally recognized speaker in the areas of sustainability, standards, innovation, and carpet reclamation. Bob studied physical organic chemistry at Purdue with Dr. John Grutzner.
Terry R. Taber joined Kodak in 1980 and earlier this year was named Chief Technical Officer reporting to Kodak Chairman and CEO Antonio M. Perez. The Board of Directors elected him a corporate vice president in December 2008. Mr. Taber was previously the Chief Operating Officer of Kodak’s Image Sensor Solutions (ISS) business, a leading developer of advanced CCD and CMOS sensors serving imaging and industrial markets. Prior to joining ISS in 2007, Mr. Taber held a series of senior positions in Kodak’s research and development and product organizations. During his 28 years at Kodak, Mr. Taber has been involved in new materials research, product development and commercialization, manufacturing, and executive positions in R&D and business management.
Dr. James Tour studied organic and organometallic chemistry with E. Negishi at Purdue. After post doctoral research at the University of Wisconsin and Stanford University, he taught for 11 years in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of South Carolina. He then joined the Smalley Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology at Rice University in 1999 where he is the Chao Professor of Chemistry, Professor of Computer Science, and Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science. Dr. Tour’s scientific research areas include molecular electronics, nanomaterials for health applications, chemical self-assembly, conjugated oligomers, electroactive polymers, combinatorial routes to precise oligomers, polymeric sensors, flame retarding polymer additives, carbon nanotube growth, synthetic modifications and composite formation, hydrogen storage on carbon nanotubes, graphene, synthesis of molecular motors and nanocars, use of the NanoKids concept for K-12 science education, and methods for retarding chemical terrorist attacks. He has over 350 research publications and over 40 patents and patent applications.
Dr. Dorothy Gabel
M.S. 1969, Ph.D. 1974
Dr. Thomas Lane
Dr. Judith Melville
Dr. Gary Molander
Dr. P. Robert Peoples
M.S. 1977, Ph.D. 1979
Dr. Terry R. Taber
Dr. James Tour