Greer, Sengers Honored for Outstanding Commitment

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Distinguished University Professor Emeritus Jan V. Sengers stands in front of the fountain which now bears his and Professor Emerita Sandra Greer's names.

Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (ChBE) emeriti professors Sandra Greer and Jan V. Sengers were among those honored for their dedication to the A. James Clark School of Engineering at the 2011 Faculty and Staff Outstanding Commitment Award Ceremony and Reception held April 20.

In 1997, department chairs and directors began a dialogue about how to recognize those individuals whose extraordinary contributions have made the Clark School a better place in which to work, learn, and live. Coinciding with the discussion was a beautification project underway outside of Martin Hall. The University's Facilities Council, the Department of Operations and Maintenance, and the A. James Clark School of Engineering agreed to raise funds to build a patio with a granite fountain, into which the names of these faculty and staff members would be carved to commemorate their accomplishments.

Professor Emerita Sandra Greer joined the University of Maryland as an associate professor of chemistry in 1978. From 1995 until her retirement in 2008, she held a joint appointment with ChBE and the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Greer, an award-winning educator, is credited with transforming the academic experience for women on the College Park campus. Her work on race, equality, gender and ethnicity issues in higher education have inspired colleges around the country to follow the example she set at Maryland by enhancing their curricula and making their campuses more supportive of all students. She is also well-known for her development and teaching of chemistry courses designed specifically for engineers, and for a course covering ethics in the sciences. She is currently the Provost and Dean of Faculty at Mills College in Oakland, Ca.

In a letter to the Clark School read at the ceremony read by her colleague Jan V. Sengers, she wrote, "I am very glad to have been associated with the Clark School of Engineering, and I think of all of you with great affection. I am proud of the mission of the school, the high academic standards, and the high impact of [its] teaching and research in the world at large. Thank you very much for this high honor."

Distinguished University Professor Emeritus Jan V. Sengers joined the University of Maryland faculty in 1968 as an associate professor in the Institute for Molecular Physics, which became Institute for Physical Science & Technology in 1975. From 1978 to 1985, He served as the first Director of the resurrected Chemical Physics Program. He later became an affiliate professor of both the Departments of Chemical and Mechanical Engineering, and served as the Chair of the Department of Chemical Engineering from 1994 to 1999. He was responsible for the formation of the Burgers Program for Fluid Dynamics in 2004. Sengers is known around the world for both his research and contributions to the improvement of engineering education, and in 2008 was recognized for his efforts with a Distinguished International Service Award from the university's Office of International Programs. He continues to edit and publish, and maintains both an active research program and a busy international lecture schedule.

"I thank the selection committee for having found me worthy for this beautiful commitment award," Sengers told the audience. "My professional life has been and continues to be strongly intertwined with the University of Maryland. It has always been my desire to be a bridge between science and engineering...[for this] reason I volunteered in the '80s to teach in the Department of Chemical Engineering. From then on my presence in the [A. James] Clark School of Engineering became stronger and stronger...The many colleagues and friends I now have [here] are an important component in my life at the University of Maryland. As long as I am able, I shall remain actively involved with the Clark School."

Published April 25, 2011