Nordell appointed Pew Consortium director

Emily Passey

Associate Professor of Chemistry Karen Nordell was appointed March 20 to be director of the Pew Midstates Science and Mathematics Consortium. The consortium promotes collaboration among member institutions and between faculty and students.
Participating schools include Beloit, Carthage, Colorado College, Grinnell, Hope, Kalamazoo, Knox, Lawrence, Luther, Macalester, St. Olaf, University of Chicago and Washington University.
The previous director of the consortium, Janet Andersen from Hope College, died suddenly in November 2005. Dr. Sheldon Wettack, also from Hope, was appointed in the interim. Wettack helped solicit nominations for a more permanent director and will continue to serve until July 31 of this year. Nordell will officially assume the position as director Aug. 1.
Nordell sought the position of director because of previous activity within the consortium. She said that she enjoyed working with Andersen and felt that the position would be a good fit for her.
Nordell applied and was interviewed by the consortium’s executive board in early March, and heard the news of her appointment during spring break.
According to Nordell, Lawrence has been active in the consortium since its inception a decade and a half ago. With Nordell as director, Lawrence may become more directly involved in the consortium and could take a larger leadership role.
The consortium is designed to encourage student and faculty professional development, promoting activities such as undergraduate research symposia, faculty development workshops, and a speaker series.
In her first year as director Nordell hopes to visit each of the 12 member institutions, speaking with both faculty and students in the mathematics and sciences. Nordell’s job is to hear ideas from member faculty and help them in financial and administrative matters.
Nordell has planned a sabbatical from Lawrence during which she will relocate to Hope College to fully devote herself to her new job. While there is no official central office for the Pew Consortium, its administrative and budget offices are already at Hope, and Nordell wishes to take full advantage of the staff’s experience there.