Congratulations to both Ann Comins (Excellence in High School Teaching) and Michael Collins (Volunteer Service to the ACS) on your awards!
Ann M. Comins
James Madison Memorial High School
Comins double-majored, earning Bachelor’s Degrees of Science in Chemistry and Mathematics from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1997. She started her career teaching chemistry and math at James Madison Memorial High School in Madison Wisconsin, and has continued to make her mark as an excellent teacher and mentor there ever since.
Ann’s continual love of learning is apparent through her dedication of to earn her Master’s Degree in Science Education from UW, Madison in 2002, and in her multiple-year participation in the Research Experience for Teachers (RET) programs at UW, Madison. After having carried out research in computational chemistry and nanomaterials, she has integrated these topics into her curriculum, and provided a cutting-edge relevance to the content in her courses. Through these experiences, she has also gained insight into careers in chemistry and helps to demonstrate what a career in research and development might entail to her students.
When teaching chemistry, Ann is attentive about how students are learning. She realizes that every student is different, and incorporates several different learning techniques from advanced technology to hands-on experiments that excite her students. She realizes that it is difficult for many students to adjust to the demands of chemistry, so she teaches them not only chemistry, but how to study, what to do when they have trouble, and how to advocate for themselves to become resilient and successful. A student remarked, “Her teaching style is intensive and passionate; she expects a great deal from her students, but this pushed us to strive towards mastering chemistry.”
We feel that Ann provides the knowledge, support, and enthusiasm to help all of her students succeed not only in chemistry, but in life, and for that, we thank her for her contributions and encourage her to keep making a difference.
Professor Michael J. Collins
Viterbo University, La Crosse, WI
La Crosse – Winona Local Section
Mike Collins received his B.S. degree in Chemistry with a Mathematics Minor from St. John’s University (Collegeville, MN) in 1966, and his Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from the University of Minnesota (Minneapolis, MN) in 1971. He began is long and stellar career in academics at North Hennepin Community College, then proceeded to Iowa Wesleyan College and St. John’s University before joining Viterbo University (which was then Viterbo College) in 1976.
At Viterbo, Mike helped many students achieve their academic and career goals though excellent teaching and research. In 1987 he received the Burlington-Northern Faculty Achievement Award, and in 1988 he was the Bronze Medalist for National Professor of the Year, and Wisconsin Professor of the Year. He spent several sabbatical years as a visiting professor of biochemistry and chemistry at the University of Minnesota, which enabled him to maintain a fruitful undergraduate research program. As a result, he and his students continued to publish their work in major journals.
Mike’s commitment to service through science is evident through his multiple awards for servant leadership, and the contributions he has made to the American Chemical Society. He has been an active member of the society since 1981, and has served as General Chairman for the 1995 GLRM of the ACS. More recently, he has played a major role in the Midwestern Association of Chemistry Teachers in Liberal Arts Colleges (MACTLAC), acting as the Program Chairman for the 2007 annual meeting and President of the Association (2007-2008).
Mike is currently Professor Emeritus at Viterbo University, and is continuing his contributions to science through the development of new applications and techniques for MicroLab, a portable and modular analytical instrument.
Thanks Mike, for all of the contributions you’ve made (and will continue to make) to science and scientists over your career.