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Greenville Business Magazine

Furman Chemistry Professor Receives Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award

Aug 14, 2018 03:55PM ● By Kathleen Maris

Furman Associate Professor of Chemistry Greg Springsteen has been granted a 2018 Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award by the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation, Inc.

The awards program supports the research and teaching efforts of talented, early-career faculty in the chemical sciences at undergraduate institutions.

Based on institutional nominations, the program provides discretionary funding to independent faculty members who have demonstrated leadership in original scholarly research of outstanding quality, substantially with undergraduates, and excellence and dedication in undergraduate education.

Awarded to only eight faculty members nationally, the honor carries an unrestricted research grant of $60,000.

Said Furman Interim Chair and Professor of Chemistry Paul Wagenknecht, “This is a well-deserved award for Greg, whose research program has flourished and who is an incredibly engaging teacher, having published papers with undergraduate coauthors in some of the most prestigious journals in the world. Furthermore, the award underscores the impactful work we do collectively as a department at Furman.”

This latest award from the Foundation marks Furman’s sixth, placing the university among the most decorated institutions receiving Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar awards.

A Furman faculty member since 2006, Springsteen earned a bachelor’s in biology from the University of Virginia, followed by a Ph.D. in synthetic organic chemistry from North Carolina State University. He finished his training at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) studying molecular evolution.

This year, he was recognized with an Excellence in Teaching Award from the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities, Inc. (SCICU). In 2016, he was named a Henry Keith and Ellen Townes Professor, and in 2008, a South Carolina InnoVision Awardee in education technology.

Springsteen’s scholarship has focused on applying the principles of mechanistic organic chemistry toward understanding and teaching about life and its origins. In the classroom, Springsteen teaches at the interface of chemistry and biology in classes spanning general chemistry to advanced biochemistry.

Working with three to six undergraduate researchers each year, Springsteen’s lab collaborates with a National Science Foundation (NSF)/National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) research consortium called the Center for Chemical Evolution, which is comprised of about 15 research labs across the country with diverse abilities to jointly tackle questions related to the chemical origins of life. The Springsteen lab has recently published research articles in the highly esteemed journals Nature Communications and Angewandte Chemie.

Since 2007, Springsteen’s lab has been responsible for securing nearly $1 million in funding from the NSF, NASA, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).