Doctorate Honors Renowned Chemistry Educator, Researcher

Dr. Francisco

Dr. Joseph Francisco, 2010 president of the American Chemical Society, will meet with UALR faculty and students from 10 to 10:30 a.m. Friday, May 20, in Fribourgh Hall room 102. Francisco will be receiving an honorary doctorate of science at UALR’s spring commencement ceremonies Saturday.

“He and I have known each other for quite awhile – and recently published a paper together that was highlighted in the ACS Journal of Physical Chemistry,” said Dr. Jeff S. Gaffney, professor and chair of the UALR Department of Chemistry.

The paper is titled “Hydroxyl Radical Substitution in Halogenated Carbonyls: Oxalic Acid Formation” by Christiansen, C., Dalal, S., Francisco, J. Mebel, A.; Gaffney, J., J. Phys. Chem., 114, 2806-2820 (2010).

“He has been a mentor in the Department of Energy Global Change Education Program for a number of graduate students who I also mentored,” Gaffney said. “We’re very lucky that he will be here to meet and visit with our students and faculty before and at graduation.”

Francisco earned a Ph.D. in chemical physics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and spent two years as a research fellow at England’s Cambridge University before returning to MIT as a provost post doctoral fellow. He was appointed assistant professor at Wayne State University in 1986 and in 1995 became professor of chemistry and earth and atmospheric sciences at Purdue University.

He received Purdue’s McCoy Award, the highest research award given to a faculty member for significant research contribution. Co-author of the textbook “Chemical Kinetics and Dynamics,” Francisco has authored 400 peer-reviewed publications in the fields of atmospheric chemistry, chemical kinetics, quantum chemistry, laser photochemistry and spectroscopy.

Francisco currently serves on the board of directors for the Council for Chemical Research, the Council of Scientific Society Presidents, and on the board of directors for the American Chemical Society. A fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Physical Society, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Dr. Francisco was president of the National Organization of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers from 2005 to 2007.

A graduate of the University of Texas with a B.S. degree in chemistry, Francisco is an accomplished singer who performed with the Boston Symphony Orchestra from 1980 to 1983.

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