chemistry majors, 2013

Alumni in Chemistry

Keep in touch!

We invite you to submit your name, contact information, and any news you’d like to share with the chemistry department. Please include a graduating year in your message.

Notable Chemistry Alumni

There are so many great chemistry alumni that it’s impossible to recognize all of them! This page is dedicated to some who stand out.

Feature Stories

Leo Welker 1903 in the Des Moines Register

Leo Welker, class of 1903, is featured in the Des Moines Register during Black History Month 2021. The article highlights Welker’s accomplishments in the sport of cycling and touches on his medical career and life after Grinnell.

Alumni establish Erickson Endowed Professorship of Chemistry

More than 35 alumni coordinated gifts to establish the Luther and Jenny Erickson Endowed Professorship of Chemistry. The position honors Luther Erickson, professor emeritus of chemistry, and Jenny Erickson, retired Forum Director. Both were beloved mentors to countless students.

Chemistry Alumni in the Classroom

The Alumni in the Classroom program enabled alumni participation in several chemistry courses during 2016.
Elaine Marzluff and students

A scientist's journey to a career in technology

Nicole Lee Snoeberger '09 talks about her path to career discovery with science research students.]
Students and their guest alum wear 3D glasses

Chemistry Alumnus in the Classroom

Nathaniel Rosi '99 visits the Advanced Inorganic Chemistry class thanks to the Alumni in the Classroom program.
Gena Kucera Kanas and Eric Leggans tutorial students

Epidemiologist Talks About her Role in Public Health

Alumna Dr. Gena Kucera Kanas '97 shared her experience on a cancer epidemiology team.

Women Chemists in Academia

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. Here we highlight those who pursue academic careers at colleges and universities.

Honorary Degree Recipients Who Were Chemistry Majors at Grinnell

Mary Sue Coleman ’65

  • Honorary Doctor of Science, Grinnell College, 2004
  • Doctorate 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, 2002-2014
  • Trustee of Grinnell College, 1996-2005

Randall Morgan, Jr. ’65

  • Honorary Doctor of Science, Grinnell College, 1992
  • M.D., Howard University, 1969
  • Residency in orthopedic surgery, Passavant Hospital, Pittsburg
  • Orthopedic surgery private practice, 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 ’65

  • Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, 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, since 1991; Director since 1993
  • Medical Director of Emory University Hospital, 2004

Tom Cech ’70

  • 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, 1988-2009
  • National Medal of Science, 1995
  • President, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, 2000-2009
  • Trustee of Grinnell College, 1998-2014

Margaret Tolbert ’79

  • 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 ’80

  • 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"

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