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Greg Hanson '00

We Are Knox...

Gregory Hanson '00

Content Specialist at ACT

Iowa City, Iowa

Chemistry Major


Chemistry major
 Greg Hanson '00 wanted to teach. After receiving a Ph.D.
in organic chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, completing a
post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Minnesota, and teaching at Otterbein University in Ohio, he returned to his native Iowa to pursue a career in a different side of science education. Hanson is a content specialist at ACT, where he writes and edits questions for the science portion of the
well-known college admissions and placement test.

How has a liberal arts context for your science education benefited you in your career?
A liberal arts context for my science education has benefited me in many ways, including helping me with writing and communication skills, and also by providing me with a greater depth of knowledge in a diverse set of areas beyond science.

How has your Knox experience made an impact on your career?
By giving me a diverse set of experiences to draw from, and by providing me with the work ethic I need to succeed.

Do you have any advice for Knox students considering a career in the sciences?
A career in the sciences is definitely hard work, but it is extremely rewarding. If science is your passion, don't give up!

How did your Knox experience affect the course of your life?
By providing me with memories and friendships that I still connect with daily.

What's the most important thing you learned at Knox outside of the classroom?
To keep my eyes open, to keep asking questions, and to get to know people. That is how I can continue to learn and grow.

Describe a memorable class, experience (research, study abroad, special term, etc.) or professor and the impact on you.
Two professors come to mind:

1. Bob Kooser: He was my General Chemistry II prof, and his laid-back style and approachability made me feel comfortable in chemistry and helped me to decide to become a chemistry major.

2. Diana Cermak: She was my Organic Chemistry professor and my research mentor. I was part of Diana's first class as a new professor at Knox, and was also her first Honors student. Her Organic Chemistry I course is why I decided to go to graduate school in organic chemistry. Her passion for the subject was infectious, and I still see that passion today when I interact with her current students.

What surprised you about Knox?
That the professors really cared about my development and education. They weren't just there to tell me a bunch of facts about a topic, but to help me think, grow, and learn -- not just academically, but also personally.