Moog receives national award, grant recognizing excellence in chemistry education

By Garret Largoza || News Editor

Richard W. Moog, Professor of Chemistry, will receive the prestigious 2016 George C. Pimentel Award, co-sponsored by Cengage Learning and the American Chemical Society’s Division of Chemical Education, this coming March in San Diego, California.

The award includes a $5,000 grant and an honor certificate designed to recognize the outstanding contributions of professionals to chemical education. The honor is awarded each year for outstanding contributions to chemical education, which includes training professional chemists. The recognized activities range from teaching, administration, writing, research, and public enlightenment. The previous recipients of the award include the Nobel Prize Laureates Glenn Seaborg (1994) and Linus Pauling (1984).

Moog earned his B.A. from Williams College in 1974 and PhD from Stanford University in 1984. He worked for the U.S. Department of Education for many years and was the principal investigator for the department-funded Middle Atlantic Discovery Chemistry Project (MADCP) in 1994.

At F&M, Moog is currently teaching General Chemistry I and II, Thermodynamics and Kinetics, and Structure and Bonding. He has been using the student-centered guided inquiry instructional approach for more than 20 years. His efforts to integrate students into his work is emphasized by several publications he has co-written with students, based on research he led. In addition to publishing his research, he has also written several books about chemical education.

Throughout his profession,  his dedicated effort to chemical education has earned him several significant honors. His work and experience were recently highlighted in Reaching Students: What Research Says About Effective Instruction in Undergraduate Science and Engineering by the National Academic Press that presents the best thinking on teaching and learning in undergraduate science and engineering.

His commitment to chemical education is most reflected in his being the founder and director of the POGIL (Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning) Project, a non-profit leading project that fosters students’ critical thinking, problem solving, and communication and cooperation skills through the student-centered guided approach. Moog was part of a trio of professors, including James Spencer, professor of chemistry, and Frank Creegan, the W. Alton Jones Professor of Chemistry, emeritus, at Washington College, who represented the POGIL Project as recipients of the James Flack Norris Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Teaching of Chemistry, which pays tribute to outstanding contributions to the field of chemical education.

“I am humbled to receive these awards on behalf of the POGIL Project and our entire community of outstanding educators. These honors recognize the foundational work that came before POGIL, the talented people involved with the project, and the revolutionary changes to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education and student outcomes that have occurred as the result of our collective efforts,” Moog said, according to an article on F&M’s news website.

Throughout F&M History, Moog is the third faculty member to receive this honor. The first two faculty members are James Spencer, also a co-founder of The POGIL Project (2005) and Conrad Stanitski (2013).

Sophomore Garrett Largoza is the News Editor. His email is glargoza@fandm.edu.

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