June 02, 2012
I am deeply honored to present Dr. Joseph S. Francisco for the Degree of Doctor of Science.
Dr. Francisco is a first generation college student. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry with Honors from the University of Texas at Austin, where his exposure to undergraduate research in X-ray crystallography as a freshman and his research on solvated electrons as an upperclassman led him to pursue a career in chemical research. He completed graduate studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he received a PhD in Chemical Physics. Following postdoctoral work at Cambridge University in England he returned to the U.S. as a postdoctoral Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Dr. Francisco is an internationally recognized expert in the field of atmospheric chemistry and chemical physics. His efforts have resulted in over 400 peer-reviewed publications, nine book chapters and a co-authored textbook entitled, "Chemical Kinetics and Dynamics." His excellence as a scientist has been recognized through many achievements. He was named a National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator and has been the recipient of a Camille and Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar award. He has been a Simon H. Guggenheim Fellow and an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow. The German government bestowed on him a Humboldt Research Award. In 2007 Purdue University awarded him the Herbert Newby McCoy Award which is the highest research award given to a faculty member. He holds honorary Doctor of Science degrees from Tuskegee University and University of Arkansas-Little Rock. In 2010 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
In addition to advancing our scientific knowledge, Dr. Francisco is dedicated to serving and improving the lives of others through education. He is a past President of the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers, an organization whose "primary purpose is to assist people of color in fully realizing their potential in chemistry, chemical engineering, and related fields." He has been twice appointed by the director of the National Science Foundation to serve on the Committee on Equal Opportunities in Science and Engineering. As the President of the American Chemical Society, Dr. Francisco encouraged its members to serve as mentors and advocates to help increase the representation and participation of all segments of our society in the chemical sciences. In these ways, he embodies the ethos of Knox's founding who believed that education had a transformative power.
President Amott, in this one hundredth and seventy fifth year since the college's founding, it is my great honor to introduce my mentor, Dr. Joseph S. Francisco, Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education and the William E. Moore Distinguished Professor of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and Chemistry at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. For his dedication to empowering others to achieve and his significant contribution to the interdisciplinary fields of atmospheric chemistry and chemical physics I present Dr. Joseph S. Francisco for the degree of Doctor of Science.
Presented by Professor of Chemistry Mary Crawford '89