About the Department
Karen Stump named New Director of Undergraduate Studies
Karen Stump has been selected as the new Director of Undergraduate Studies for the Department. In this role, Karen will play an expanded role in curriculum discussions and serve as the key point of contact for internal and external questions about the undergraduate program. She will continue as Director of Laboratories, and as the department representative to MCS' Committee on Undergraduate Affairs and to the Undergraduate Laboratory Renovations.
Karen Stump joined the Department of Chemistry in 1983 and has served as Director of Laboratories since 1987. As Chemistry's departmental liaison and a member of the Executive Committee for this $26 million Undergraduate Science Laboratories project, Karen has been instrumental in more than a decade of intensive planning that led to the groundbreaking earlier this year. In her new capacity as Director of Undergraduate Studies, she will continue her role as a leader in laboratory education and laboratory safety as well as broadening her role in oversight and innovation in the undergraduate curriculum. For example, the new Undergraduate Science Laboratories will create new opportunities for interdisciplinary labs and Karen has already begun to develop curriculum for chemistry/biology interconnections and is currently working with a student who is developing introductory forensics curriculum as well.
Karen's additional contributions to the Department have been numerous. She regularly teaches students from across the university in Lab I: Introduction to Chemical Analysis and has previously taught Chemical Aspects of Organic and Biological Materials and Introduction to Experimental Chemistry. In 1992, Karen was selected as the recipient of the Julius Ashkin Award for excellence in teaching in the Mellon College of Science. She has served as the sophomore class advisor for several years and as an important resource for information about the undergraduate chemistry program. In addition, she has developed an innovative curriculum for training Chemistry TAs and provides ongoing mentoring to support TAs in their work.
A distinctive feature of Karen's educational contributions is her success in creating and sustaining educational outreach programs for K to 12 students and science teachers. Since 1987 Karen has initiated and administered the Westinghouse Science and Mathematics Program for minority students and since 1995 has organized residential programs for a total of 140 teachers in districts throughout Pennsylvania. Her proposal for the Governor's Institute for Physical Science Educators received substantial funding from the state of Pennsylvania and will be held for the third year for 40-50 teachers this summer.
Chuck Van Dyke served many years as the Director of Undergraduate Studies and the Department greatly appreciates his service. Chuck will continue to serve as freshman advisor and to work very closely with prospective freshman in departmental recruiting efforts.