May 24, 1999            

Contact: Bob Bruce, 503-725-5714
Source: Katy Coba, Governor's Office, 503-378-3123

Eugene Scientist Nominated for State Board of Higher Ed

SALEM - Governor John Kitzhaber has selected one of Oregon's top science educators and researchers to fill an unexpired vacancy on the State Board of Higher Education.

Subject to confirmation by the Oregon Senate, Dr. Geraldine L. Richmond of Eugene will replace Esther Puentes of Salem. Mrs. Puentes vacated her seat on the board recently. Richmond would fill the unexpired term until June 30, 2000.

Richmond is a nationally acclaimed scientist. She has pioneered research in the use of lasers to study chemical systems and has been a national leader in science education and the mentoring of women in the sciences. In 1998, she was named as the first Knight Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Oregon in recognition of her unique contributions in teaching and research.

A native Kansan, Richmond earned her B.S. degree in chemistry at Kansas State University and her Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley. She began her higher education career as an assistant professor at Bryn Mawr College, Pennsylvania, and joined the UO faculty in 1985 as associate professor of chemistry. For the past 12 years she has served as director of the UO Summer Undergraduate Research Program in Chemical Physics, a program highlighted by the National Science Foundation in a recent article in Science magazine.

In 1997 she was honored at the White House and received the Presidential Award for Excellence in U.S. Science, Mathematics, Engineering Mentoring. She has also received the 1997 Francis P. Garvan-John M. Olin Medal in Chemistry, the NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award, the NSF Faculty Award for Women Scientists and Engineers, and an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship.

She currently serves as chair of the U.S. Department of Energy's Basic Sciences Advisory Committee and chair of the American Chemical Society, Physical Chemistry Division.

Richmond's nomination is the first of a current faculty member to the State Board of Higher Education, which serves as the governing board of the Oregon University System. OUS campuses include Eastern Oregon University, La Grande; Oregon Institute of Technology, Klamath Falls; Oregon State University, Corvallis; Portland State University; Southern Oregon University, Ashland; the University of Oregon, Eugene; and Western Oregon University, Monmouth.
 

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