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George Shields Wins ACS Award for Research at an Undergraduate Institution

George Shields, professor in the department of chemistry and dean of arts and sciences at Bucknell University, has received the American Chemical Society (ACS) Award for Research at an Undergraduate Institution.

The award is sponsored by Research Corporation for Science Advancement (RCSA), although the ACS is responsible for selecting the honorees.

According to the ACS publication C&EN, Shields, 56, “has published an average of 3.3 papers over each of the past 14 years, all with the cooperation of undergraduate students and not a single graduate student.” The average number of papers published by investigators at primarily undergraduate institutions (PUIs), C&EN notes, is 0.5 per year.

Shields received his first research support for experimental work from RCSA, a Cottrell College Science Award (CCSA), in 1990 when he was at Lake Forest College; in 2003, when he was at Hamilton College, he received a second CCSA for computational work.

“In Shields’ 25 years as a teacher, his research has involved 105 undergraduates,” according to C&EN, which notes that overall he has obtained about $5 million from 26 grants from various sources since his first award from RCSA.

The publication says 82% of Shields’s research students have gone on to graduate and professional schools. “They include 41 who have gone on for Ph.D.s, mostly in chemistry and biochemistry but also in geology, pathology, and epidemiology. His students have received 31 national awards including four Fulbright, eight Goldwater, and seven graduate fellowships.”

 RCSA Program Director Silvia Ronco calls Shields, with whom she has worked at the Council for Undergraduate Research, “a true champion.”  Ronco points out that he helped to create MERCURY, a consortium supporting undergraduate computation in chemistry at PUIs. More.

C&EN notes that Shields is a member of ACS, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Association for Aerosol Research, the International Society of Quantum Biology & Pharmacology, and Sigma Xi.

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