Elaine Marzluff, professor of chemistry

Tue, 2012-05-08 10:01 am


Elaine Marzluff (1997). Professor of Chemistry. B.A., Harvard University; Ph.D., California Institute of Technology.

Elaine Marzluff joined the Chemistry Department in 1997 following her postdoctoral program of research at the California Institute of Technology. Since joining the Grinnell faculty, she served as visiting professor at Oxford University (U.K.) and at Northeastern University during her sabbatical leaves. Prior to her tenure as associate professor, Dr. Marzluff provided all teaching in the area of physical chemistry which had grown to encompass most of her teaching load in any given year. Since tenure, she continues to teach physical chemistry courses but has also taught a broader range of chemistry courses in which she uses an array of pedagogies. Her focus has been to create a blend of computational and experimental work in her laboratory, and to introduce more computational chemistry into weekly problem sets. In order to expand discussion of data analysis in her physical chemistry laboratory, she took advantage of an opportunity provided by a recent Howard Hughes Medical Institute grant by sitting in on a colleague’s 200-level statistics class. Professor Marzluff was actively involved in development of the new Policy Studies concentration by taking a policy-studies course from a colleague in Economics, in order to subsequently help design and team-teach the inaugural offering of the advanced policy studies seminar. This experience was so successful that it led to further development and team-teaching of the advanced policy-studies course. By all measures, Elaine Marzluff is regarded as a talented, versatile, and successful teacher.

She has meanwhile established herself as a research scholar and mentor in the field of gas-phase ion chemistry. Her research centers on biomolecules. She has developed a distinctive research program that engages her students in highly sophisticated scientific research. Most of her independent publications, and nearly all of her conference presentations, have Grinnell undergraduate co-authors. She has recently published in the Journal of Chemical Education; Physical Chemistry/Chemical Physics (PCCP); and the Journal of Physical Chemistry. Since joining the department, she has served as principal investigator on prestigious external grants for research and instrumentation acquisition from the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation, the American Society of Mass Spectrometry, and the National Science Foundation.

Professor Marzluff’s extensive service to the College, the Chemistry Department, and her professional associations is widely respected by all. She is tireless in her commitment to diversity on campus, while also attending to diversity in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) K-16 teaching, and in the chemistry profession. She assisted in the creation of the first Iowa chapter of the Society for Advancement of Chicano and Native American Students in Science (SACNAS ). She has served as co-director of the Grinnell Science Project. She is an exemplary role model, and provides strong support for early-career faculty in her department. She contributed to an improved format for the College-wide New Faculty Orientation program. She has served on key governing bodies such as Executive Council, Personnel Committee, and the 2009-10 Presidential Search Committee, in addition to serving as Chemistry Department Chair and the College’s NCAA Faculty Athletic Representative. Within her profession, she serves as peer reviewer for multiple scholarly journals and has been a panel reviewer for the National Science Foundation.