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Katherine M. Masters Receives the George W. Atherton Award for Excellence in Teaching

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17 April 2012

Katherine Masters, a lecturer and lab director in the Department of Chemistry at Penn State University, has been selected to receive Penn State's George W. Atherton Award for Excellence in Teaching. Penn State's president, Rodney Erikson, will present Masters with the award during a formal ceremony in April. The award, named after Penn State's seventh president, was established in 1989 as a continuation of the AMOCO Foundation Award, and honors excellence in teaching at the undergraduate level.

Masters's previous Penn State awards include a 2009 C.I. Noll Award for Excellence in Teaching, a 2007 Priestley Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching in Chemistry, a Five-Year Service Award from Penn State Continuing Education, which she received in 2008, and a 2007 Alpha Chi Sigma Outstanding Professor Award.

During her time at Penn State, Masters's research has focused on curriculum development, specifically redesigning the advanced synthetic lab course by rewriting a lab guide, designing new writing assignments, and incorporating Penn State research into the curriculum. In addition, she has mentored two undergraduate students who completed honor theses, resurrected an organic mechanisms course, and incorporated group work into her large lecture classes. She has written scientific papers for the Journal of Organic Chemistry and she has presented her research at the American Chemical Society's national meetings. Masters is a co-author with Ken Williamson of the Macroscale and Microscale Organic Experiments textbook.

Before joining the Penn State faculty, Masters was an adjunct professor of chemistry at Kean University and an assistant professor of chemistry at Randolph-Macon College. She earned a doctoral degree in chemistry at Penn State in 2001. In 1994, she earned a bachelor's degree, cum laude, at Georgian Court University.

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