Message from the dean
Chemistry Related
Dean John Bear
College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
Many of us likely recall a favorite professor who influenced our choice of a college major or even our future profession. One former faculty member, Eby Nell McElrath, undoubtedly played such a role in the lives of scores of NSM alumni. McElrath, chemistry professor and one-time department chair, so affected the life path of alumnus Dr. Herman Suit that he and his wife recently established a fellowship in her memory. Our cover story features McElrath and her academic legacy.

Houston-area secondary school students will benefit from a $2.4 million grant that the Department of Mathematics and the College of Education have received for a new teacher preparation program. The initiative, teachHOUSTON, is preparing highly qualified math and science teachers to address a shortage in urban schools.

NSM scientists and student researchers continue to break new ground. One biochemist’s study suggests the hormone melatonin can suppress the formation of memories if taken for sleep, while another’s shows a possible evolutionary link between mammals and an ancient parasite. A marine geologist is focusing on melting polar ice caps and rising sea levels. And a physicist is using his discipline to explore how goods and information can be moved more efficiently.

Read about all this and more in this issue. As always, I invite you to let me know what you think.
John L. Bear


© University of Houston 2007