Connecting campuses to promote excellence in math and science

Janet Andersen Lecture AwardJanet Anderson - Hope College Math Professor

Established by the Midstates Consortium for Math and Science in 2008

Professor Janet Andersen was a beloved faculty member in the Hope College Mathematics Department and served enthusiastically as the Midstates Consortium Director for five years before her life ended tragically in an automobile accident in November 2005. As a teacher and scholar, Janet was devoted to providing creative, high quality learning experiences for her students, and she herself was always learning as she was teaching. As Consortium Director, she looked for ways to connect with and support natural science faculty, both new and experienced.

To honor Janet Andersen's dedication and commitment to her work with students and faculty in her teaching, research and service to the Consortium, the Janet Andersen Lecture Award was established in 2008. The Midstates Consortium will choose one or two faculty members from one or two of the Consortium member institutions each year to present the Janet Andersen Lecture at one or both of the fall Undergraduate Research Symposia on a topic of his or her expertise. The award recipient(s) will also receive a $300 honorarium.

The Midstates Consortium invites faculty, students, staff and administrators to nominate faculty members in the Consortium for the Janet Andersen Lecture award. We encourage nominations for faculty members of any rank who have vigorous research programs involving undergraduates, who are exceptional mentors for undergraduate research students, who are engaged and skilled teachers, or who create interdisciplinary research opportunities for undergraduate students.

The Consortium accepts nominations for this award each spring. The deadline is typically in late March or early April, and the award recipients are selected by the Executive Committee at their spring meeting (usually held in April or May).

Please direct any questions to Brandy S. Russell, Midstates Consortium Director, at


2013 Janet Andersen Lecture Award Winners

Physical Sciences, Mathematics and Computer Science

Associate Professor Brad Chamberlain

Department of Chemistry
Luther College, Decorah, IA



Associate Professor Bradley Chamberlain is the 2013 Janet Andersen Award winner for the Physical Sciences, Math, and Computer Science. The following excerpt is from a nomination letter written by one of his colleagues:

“Bradley (Brad) Chamberlain is an inspiring mentor to the numerous research students who have had the opportunity to work with him in truly collaborative research over the last 12 years at Luther College. I nominate Brad for the Janet Andersen Award for his outstanding leadership in undergraduate research, his dedication to his students, [and] his impressive record of securing funding for major equipment which has benefitted the students and department as a whole.

Students enjoy taking Brad’s classes and working in his lab because he knows how to put chemistry and science into real life contexts. … He makes science approachable and interesting, and he does the same in his research. Seeking out new effective catalysts for polymerization reactions is difficult synthetic work, and though the students feel challenged in his lab, they also see cutting edge techniques and grow as scientists to help in their future careers.”




Biological Sciences and Psychology

Professor Daniel Hornbach
Departments of Environmental Studies and Biology
Macalester College, St. Paul, MN

Professor Daniel Hornbach was selected for the 2013 Janet Andersen award in the Biological Sciences and Psychology. The following statements are taken from a letter written by several of Dan’s colleagues in nomination for this award:

“Dan’s commitment to working collaboratively with students represents a facet of his life’s work. … Each of Dan’s students has experienced the joy of scientific discovery inherent in scientific research; their research experiences transcend narrowly defined projects. Dan’s students have gone on to work in areas that include molecular biology, genetics, and biological anthropology. In addition, Dan has structured his research program to allow students the opportunity to develop skills as members of a team and experience the importance of collaboration. Some of Dan’s students now work in resource management, public health, investment banking, organic farming, and sustainability management, to name a few.

[Listing] student accomplishments fails, however, to capture the ways that Dan’s role as a mentor has impacted his research program. Since effective mentoring relies on the give and take of relationships, it is not surprising that Dan’s interactions with students has changed the direction of his research. The combination of a socially aware student body with the inclusion of service to society as a component of Macalester’s mission statement prompted Dan to shift his focus from research that examined theories of life-history evolution to questions related to conservation of endangered species.”


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