Chemistry Department Faculty and Staff



UTC Ranked #2 in Percentage in Producing Undergraduate Female Chemists

Chemical and Engineering News, serving 146,000 print subscribers plus on-line readers has listed The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga as having the second highest percentage of graduating female chemists in the country. Under the ranking "Chemistry Graduates by Gender," UTC ranks second behind Bryn Mawr, an all-female school in Pennsylvania. The information used in the analysis is based on Department of Education data from 1999-2000, and the listing appears in the February 10th issue of Chemical and Engineering News.

UTC is also listed among the top 100 schools in the country in the number of male and female chemistry graduates for the year 1999-2000.

Dr. Gail Meyer, a faculty member for the last 21 years in the UTC Chemistry Department and an alumna of UTC, did her doctoral research about women in the sciences. She recently wrote the scholarly article "Encouraging Female Undergraduate Students, What can a Science Department Do?" which appeared in the October, 2002 issue of Journal of College Science Teaching. Meyer says a student-centered attitude among faculty is key.

"Research shows that for women to be successful in the sciences, they have to feel comfortable and at the same time challenged. At UTC, the former head of the chemistry department, Dr. Ben Gross started us on the path of creating a comfortable atmosphere, and it continues today under the direction of Dr. Doug Kutz," Meyer said.

Meyer says having females on faculty and numerous female students creates a comfort zone for incoming female students. Meyer says a strong department serves both men and women.

"We have a lot of women and men interested in health sciences, and after those students have been introduced to the chemistry program, they enjoy it. We have research opportunities in the summer where students can work one-on-one with professors, and can often co-author a scholarly paper, even as undergraduates. We are fortunate to have the Grote Chemistry Fund to help finance these opportunities," Meyer said.

Meyer is referring to the late Dr. Irvine Grote, an outstanding scientist and former faculty member in the department. He was a man of tremendous scientific curiosity. he worked in both private industry and subsequently as a Professor and head of the Department of Chemistry. Grote served as Scientific Consultant at Chattem, Inc. for more than 40 years, and authored numerous patents, including the original antacid formulations in Rolaids. After his passing in 1973, Grote and his wife Nita left their entire estate to the UTC Department of Chemistry, an endowment now known as the Grote Chemistry Fund. The endowment, valued at over $5.1 million, is used to fund scholarships, instrumentation, faculty development, research and two endowed professorships.

"The UTC Chemistry Department also has a successful record of placing students in graduate and professional schools from across the state and country," Meyer said.

To learn more, please visit the UTC Department of Chemistry webpage.