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Professor Marcy Towns named interim department head


Writer(s): Steve Scherer


Marcy Towns, Bodner-Honig Professor of Chemistry, has been named interim department head of the Department of Chemistry.

Towns succeeds Christine Hrycyna, a Professor of Chemistry and a 150th Anniversary Professor, who has accepted a position as the Dean of the School of Physical Sciences at the University of California, San Diego.

Dr. Towns is a Purdue alumna who earned a M.S. in Chemical Education and a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry. She joined the Purdue faculty in 2006 and is an accomplished researcher studying the factors that affect how students learn chemistry and how best to teach chemistry.

She is also a highly decorated teacher, having won many departmental, college and university awards including the Murphy Award, Purdue’s highest undergraduate teaching award.

Dr. Hrycyna was named department head in 2017 and was the first woman to lead the department during its nearly 150-year history.

Dr. Towns will become department head on September 18 and will continue in that capacity until the College of Science dean names a permanent replacement.

The department is celebrating Dr. Hrycyna’s term as department head with a reception on Wednesday, October 4th, 3:30-5:30 in WTHR Leighty Commons.