ECU’S DR. MYERS RECEIVES 2017 OKLAHOMA CHEMIST AWARD
Dr. Dwight L. Myers, professor and co-chair of East Central University’s Chemistry Department, received statewide recognition for his undergraduate STEM research work with students during the 62nd Annual Oklahoma Pentasectional Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS) on March 25 at Cameron University in Lawton.
Myers, concerned about shaping the minds of undergraduate research students, was awarded the 2017 Oklahoma Chemist Award. He describes research at ECU as rewarding and an asset to undergraduate students.
“Research greatly benefits undergraduate students. It has been a pleasure to see students win awards for their posters and professional meeting meetings,” Myers said. “I have had the satisfaction of seeing several students who did undergraduate research with me, complete graduate studies in chemistry. As a professor at a primarily undergraduate institution, I believe this is one very important contribution we make, and I’m thankful for the opportunity to help shape future leaders in chemical sciences.”
Myers’ research interests are in the areas of thermodynamics and materials chemistry, particularly high-temperature chemistry.
“Over the years, numerous students have conducted undergraduate research with me here at ECU,” said Myers. “Their results have been presented at state and regional ACS meetings, at Oklahoma Academy of Science technical meetings and Oklahoma Research Day.”
Currently, his students are studying reactions of titanium and silicon dioxide at elevated temperatures. Previously, students have performed a variety of undergraduate research projects involving high-temperature superconductivity, volatile metal hydroxides or synthesis of doped bismuth-vanadium oxides.
The ACS is the world’s largest scientific society and one of the world’s leading sources of authoritative scientific information. ACS, a nonprofit organization, is at the forefront of the evolving worldwide chemical enterprise and the premier professional home for chemists, chemical engineers and related professions around the globe.
Through the years, Myers’ research interests have ventured outside of ECU as well.
Since 1999, Myers has concurrently worked at the NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, during the summers on research problems related to corrosion in combustion environments, high speed (hypersonic) flight and space vehicle reentry.
Myers came to ECU in 1993 as an assistant professor of chemistry and currently serves as professor of chemistry and department chair.
“During my time at ECU, I have tried to introduce as many students as possible to undergraduate research,” Myers said. “My own experience in undergraduate research at Wichita State University was invaluable in shaping my graduate and professional life. Undergraduate research is one ‘hook’ that keeps students interested in chemistry and has been the prelude to graduate school in chemistry for many students.”
He says that he has been able to bring back some of his research work from the NASA Glenn Research Center in order to inspire and motivate students on the ECU campus.
Myers, who grew up in Kansas City, Kansas, received an associate’s degree from Kansas City, Kansas Community College in 1975. While attending Wichita State, he received his B.S. in chemistry in 1977 and M.S. in 1983. He worked for a couple of years with Vulcan Materials Company in Wichita before teaching at Friends University in Wichita for 11 years. He then obtained his Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Wichita State in 1991.
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