Public Release: 

Kansas chemist and educator receives award for fostering diversity

American Chemical Society

Chemist and educator Kristin Bowman-James, Ph.D., of the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kan., will be honored Oct. 25 by the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society, for encouraging women to pursue careers in chemistry. She will be presented with the Women Chemists Committee Regional Award for Contributions to Diversity at the ACS Midwest regional meeting in Lawrence, Kan.

Bowman-James, a professor of chemistry at the university, exemplifies and promotes diversity. When she first joined the university in 1975 as an assistant professor, she was the only woman in her department. She rose through the ranks and, in 1995, became chair of the department of chemistry, the first woman to hold that position. Under her six-year guidance, the number of women on the chemistry department faculty increased dramatically. The department is now more than 25 percent female. Bowman-James is a charter member of the Committee on the Advancement of Women Chemists (COACh), in which she serves as a national leader in developing a forum to help women develop their leadership skills and advance their careers. She also serves as a mentor and role model to students and faculty.

Bowman-James is also a leader in research, particularly in the area of anion coordination chemistry. Last year, she co-organized a National Science Foundation workshop to explore the future of inorganic chemistry. Recently, she was appointed to editorial boards of two scientific journals, Inorganic Chemistry and Supramolecular Chemistry. A prolific author, Bowman-James has written more than 60 scientific journal articles, numerous reviews and book chapters, and is the co-author of one book. She has presented her research at numerous conferences and workshops, both nationally and internationally. She also increased research funding at the university.

Bowman-James exhibits academic leadership. As department chair, she helped facilitate expansion of the chemistry department's curriculum, including the creation of four new honors courses that were the first honors lecture courses in the department. In addition, she helped establish a course in environmental chemistry as well as two new undergraduate emphasis areas in environmental and biological chemistry.

Bowman-James earned a B.S. and Ph.D. in chemistry from Temple University in Philadelphia, Pa.

The Regional Award for Contributions to Diversity, given to commemorate the ACS Women Chemists Committee's 75th anniversary celebration, recognizes individuals who have stimulated or fostered diversity in the chemical workplace.

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