News on current grants to Carleton faculty and staff.

Matt Whited completes a successful first year of his CAREER grant project

June 21, 2017
By Christopher Tassava, Associate Director of Corporate & Foundation Relations

In May 2017, Matt WhitedMatt Whited, Associate Professor of Chemistry, completed a successful first year of his CAREER grant from the NSF. Running from June 2016 to May 2021, Prof. Whited's CAREER grant seeks to develop new approaches to difficult chemical transformations such as selective oxidation of hydrocarbons and reduction of carbon dioxide to chemical feedstocks.

In Year 1, Prof. Whited advanced the project on several fronts: conducting research, intensively mentoring of undergraduates in his laboratory, and beginning the development of portable course and lab modules for high school chemistry. In addition to laying the groundwork for research over the rest of the grant period, Whited's work in Year 1 resulted in one published paper and has contributed to the development of a new advanced chemistry course that will incorporate authentic research experiences. Whited also plans to develop an assessment tool that will evaluate students'  experiential learning gains in the lab and classroom. During Year 1, Prof. Whited mentored seven undergraduate research students - four in summer 2016 and three during the 2016-2017 academic year. Four of the students contributed to peer-reviewed science articles. Whited's students joined others in a "Synthesis Supergroup" formed from several faculty research groups at Carleton and St. Olaf College. Of the cohort, five have now graduated, with two accepting jobs in chemistry labs and two going off to graduate school in chemistry at Caltech and at Wisconsin.