Alumni in Chemistry

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Grinnell Women Chemistry Graduates Pursuing Academic Careers at Colleges and Universities

The chemistry major has become increasingly attractive to Grinnell women students, and many of these graduates have gone on to complete graduate and professional degree programs. Of such students with advanced degrees, the 17 women presented in this poster are currently in teaching, research, or administrative positions in colleges or universities.

Honorary degree recipients who were chemistry majors at Grinnell

  • Mary Sue Coleman, Class of 1965

    • Honorary Doctor of Science, Grinnell College, 2004
    • Ph.D. in biochemistry, University of North Carolina, 1970
    • Faculty member, Biochemistry Department, University of Kentucky, 1971-89
    • Dean of Research and Vice-chancellor, University of North Carolina, 1990-92
    • Academic Vice President & Provost, University of New Mexico, 1993-96
    • President, University of Iowa, 1996-2002
    • President, University of Michigan, 2002-present
    • Trustee of Grinnell College, 1996-2005


  • Randall Morgan, Jr., Class of 1965

    • Honorary Doctor of Science, Grinnell College, 1992
    • M.D., Howard University, 1969
    • Residency in orthopedic surgery, Passavant Hospital, Pittsburg
    • Orthopedic surgery private practice in Gary, IN, 1972-present
    • Fellow of American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons and of American College of Surgeons
    • Past-president of National Medical Association
    • Trustee of Grinnell College since 1993 (Life Trustee, 2005)


  • Rein Saral, Class of 1965

    • Honorary Doctor of Science, Grinnell College, 2005
    • M.D., John Hopkins University, 1969
    • Internship (1970), Residency (1971), and Fellowship (1976), John Hopkins University
    • Faculty, John Hopkins, 1974-91; including Director of bone marrow transplant program
    • Emory Clinic, Atlanta, since 1991; Director since 1993
    • Medical Director of Emory Univeristy Hospital, 2004


  • Tom Cech, Class of 1970

    • Honorary Doctor of Science, Grinnell College, 1987
    • Ph.D. in chemistry, University of California Berkeley, 1975
    • Faculty member, University of Colorado, 1978-present
    • Nobel Prize in chemistry, 1989
    • Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, 1988-present
    • National Medal of Science, 1995
    • President, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, 2000-present
    • Trustee of Grinnell College, 1998-2014


  • Margaret Tolbert, Class of 1979

    • Honorary Doctor of Science, Grinnell College, 2007
    • Ph.D. in chemistry, California Institute of Technology, 1986
    • Postdoctoral Fellow, Stanford Research Institute, 1986-87
    • Faculty member, University of Colorado-Boulder, chemistry and biochemistry
    • Research group at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences focuses on understanding the chemistry and climate of planetary atmospheres
    • Award for Creative Advances in Environmental Science and Technology from the American Chemical Society (ACS), 2009


  • John W. Canady, Class of 1980

    • Honorary Doctor of Science, Grinnell College, 2008
    • M.D. University of Iowa College of Medicine
    • Residencies in otolaryngology, University of Iowa; plastic and reconstructive surgery, University of Kansas Hospital
    • Faculty member, Department of Plastic Surgery and Otolaryngology, University of Iowa Health Care
    • Director of the Cleft Lip/Palate Program, University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics 
    • Participates in free surgeries for underprivileged children and young adults in developing countries, with programs like "Operation Smile"