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


2014 Janet Andersen Lecture Award Winners


Biological Sciences and Psychology

Associate Professor Phoebe Lostroh

Department of Biology

Colorado College, Colorado Springs, CO


Associate Professor Phoebe Lostroh was selected for the 2014 Janet Andersen award in the Biological Sciences and Psychology. The following statements are taken from a letter written by several of Phoebe’s colleagues in nomination for this award: 

Phoebe has been a leading scholar, teacher, and mentor since her arrival at Colorado College (CC) in 2003.  As a microbiologist, she has engaged dozens of students in cutting-edge research, while supporting their personal and professional development.  Her tireless pursuit of external grants has provided countless opportunities for students to experience research first-hand.  Phoebe is a magnet for students from groups under-represented in the sciences, who find in her a kindred spirit and fierce advocate.  She has exhibited tremendous breadth by co-authoring articles with CC faculty in mathematics, physics, chemistry, biochemistry, and environmental science.  Phoebe has dedicated herself to supporting undergraduate research and science education at the local and national levels, and has had a significant and positive impact on our campus culture.  There is probably no other faculty member at the college who has done more to deepen and broaden the research experiences of our students in the past ten years. 

“Those of us who have worked closely with Phoebe on research projects involving students have seen first-hand why she is such a sought-after and successful mentor.  Phoebe’s passion for science and high standards attract curious and ambitious students, while her approachability and deep concern for her students make all feel welcome.  Phoebe has learned how to strike a balance between steering students towards feasible and meaningful research, while giving them the freedom to pursue their own questions and solve their own problems.  Her students find a passion for the scientific process and in their pursuits become critical thinkers, confident speakers, and creative writers.”



Physical Sciences, Mathematics and Computer Science

Professor Kevin Crosby

Departments of Physics & Astronomy and Computer Science

Carthage College, Kenosha, WI

Professor Kevin Crosby is the 2014 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:

“Kevin has maintained an exceptionally active and productive research program – with publication of articles in refereed journals and conference proceedings, with peers from other institutions, but most importantly with students. Again continuing as an innovator, Kevin has published research in diverse areas such as solid-state physics, fluid dynamics, chaos, numerical simulations of properties of carbon nanotubes, physics education, and, most lately, on problems relevant to low- gravity situations encountered on rocket launches and in space. … Kevin has demonstrated singular focus on what is best for the education of our students and the College. His microgravity group is an example of small liberal-arts undergraduate research at its best.

“If I had one descriptor to give Kevin, it is that of an innovator: he is not one to rest on his laurels or re-hash old material, but one who consistently updates and improves his course offerings with the newest developments in physics and computer science, and with the latest course demos and software. His hallmark is constantly ensuring that our students see connections between what they learn in the classroom and what is happening in the world today. …Kevin has a deep, personal, and abiding dedication to bringing real science and higher education to our students, to best prepare them for an effective life in our society. He is an exemplar of what a college professor ought to be: an effective, mature, and productive educator/researcher in the prime of his career.”

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