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Dr. Donna J. Nelson
Biographical Sketch

200 WORDS

Dr. Donna Nelson, professor of chemistry at Oklahoma University, obtained her PhD in chemistry at UT-Austin with MJS Dewar, did her postdoctorate at Purdue with HC Brown, and joined OU.

Her research areas are nanoscience, communicating science to the public, organic chemical education, and scientific workforce development. She has over 100 publications and many honors, including American Chemical Society (ACS) Fellow, ACS Israel Award, ACS Nalley Award, Oklahoma Chemist Award, Fulbright Scholar, National Science Foundation (NSF) ADVANCE Leadership Award, Women's eNews "21 Leaders for the 21st Century," AAAS Fellow, Guggenheim Award, NOW "Woman of Courage," Ford Fellow, Sigma Xi Faculty Research Award, NSF Special Creativity Extension, and many keynote talks.

Her nanoscience research involves functionalizing single walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs), with applications in energy research and technology development, and led to the successful application of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) to functionalized SWCNT analysis.  Her work showed that both covalent functionalization and complexation of organic molecules to SWCNTs causes nearby protons to be shifted downfield in the NMR.

She advises television programs, such as Breaking Bad, in order to further the universal goal of presenting accurate science to TV audiences.  In accord with this program, in 2011, she organized the highly-popular Hollywood Chemistry symposium at the Anaheim ACS Meeting and Science on the Screen symposia at the Denver ACS Meeting.

Her scientific workforce surveys, of faculty race/ethnicity, gender, and rank in science and engineering at research universities, revealed that women and minorities are much less represented among professors than degree recipients. The Nelson Diversity Surveys final report is at http://faculty-staff.ou.edu/N/Donna.J.Nelson-1/diversity/briefings/Diversity%20Report%20Final.pdf .

More information is at http://faculty-staff.ou.edu/N/Donna.J.Nelson-1/

350 WORDS

Dr. Donna Nelson, is a professor of chemistry at the University of Oklahoma. She took her BS in chemistry at the University of Oklahoma, obtained her PhD in chemistry at the University of Texas at Austin with Michael J. S. Dewar, did her postdoctorate at Purdue University with Herbert C. Brown during, and joined the University of Oklahoma. She was a Faculty Fellow in the OU Provost's Office 1989-1990, a Visiting Professor at MIT 2003, and assistant to American Chemical Society President Dr. Ann Nalley, 2005-2007.

Dr. Nelson's current research pertains to nanoscience, communicating science to the public, and scientific workforce development and she frequently speaks on the interrelationship of these topics. She has over 100 publications. She has received many honors, including American Chemical Society (ACS) Fellow, ACS Israel Award, ACS Nalley Award, Oklahoma Chemist Award, Fulbright Scholar, National Science Foundation (NSF) ADVANCE Leadership Award, Women's eNews "21 Leaders for the 21st Century," AAAS Fellow, Guggenheim Award, National Organization for Women "Woman of Courage" Award, Ford Foundation Fellowship, Oklahoma Outstanding Professor Award, Minority Health Professions Foundation Hall of Fame Inductee, Sigma Xi Faculty Research Award, NSF Special Creativity Extension, and many keynote talks. She has spoken at hundreds of national meetings of professional societies and organizations, US Congress Capitol Hill briefings, teleconferences, universities, and radio and TV programs, such as the McNeil-Lehrer News Hour.

Her chemical research involves functionalizing single walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs), which has applications in energy research and technology development. Recently her group showed that both covalent functionalization and complexation of organic molecules to SWCNTs causes nearby protons to be shifted downfield in the NMR.

She advises television programs, such as Breaking Bad, in order to further the universal goal of presenting accurate science to TV audiences. In accord with this program, in 2011, she organized the highly-popular Hollywood Chemistry symposium at the Anaheim ACS Meeting and Science on the Screen symposia at the Denver ACS Meeting, for ACS President Nancy Jackson.

Her scientific workforce development research entailed surveys of faculty race/ethnicity, gender, and rank in "Top 50" departments in each of 15 science and engineering disciplines. Comparing her faculty data vs NSF PhD and BS attainment revealed that women and minorities are much less represented among professors than among degree recipients. Her faculty data are complete populations, rather than samples, so they accurately reveal the small number or absence of underrepresented groups and compare across disciplines. The Nelson Diversity Surveys final reports are at http://faculty-staff.ou.edu/N/Donna.J.Nelson-1/diversity/briefings/Diversity%20Report%20Final.pdf .

More information is available at http://faculty-staff.ou.edu/N/Donna.J.Nelson-1/

650 WORDS

Dr. Donna Nelson is a professor of chemistry at the University of Oklahoma. She took her B.S. in Chemistry at the University of Oklahoma. She obtained her Ph.D. in chemistry at the University of Texas with Michael J. S. Dewar, did her postdoctorate at Purdue University with Herbert C. Brown, and joined the University of Oklahoma. She was a Faculty Fellow in the OU Provost's Office 1989 - 1990, a Visiting Professor at MIT in 2003, and assistant to American Chemical Society President Dr. Ann Nalley, 2005 - 2007.

Dr. Nelson's current research pertains to nanoscience, communicating science to the public, and scientific workforce development and she frequently speaks on the interrelationship of these topics. She has over 100 publications. The Journal of Organic Chemistry cover page (Feb. 4, 2005) and the Division of Organic Chemistry Calendar (Sep. 2006) both featured her chemical research. Dr. Nelson has received many awards, including American Chemical Society (ACS) Fellow (2010), ACS Israel Award (2011), ACS Nalley Award (2011), Oklahoma Chemist Award (2012), Fulbright Scholar (2007), National Science Foundation (NSF) ADVANCE Leadership Award (2006), Women's eNews 21 Leaders for the 21st Century (2006), AAAS Fellow (2005), Minority Health Professions Foundation Hall of Fame Inductee (2005), Oklahoma Outstanding Professor Award (2005), NOW Woman of Courage Award (2004), Ford Foundation Fellowship (2003), Guggenheim Award (2003), Sigma Xi Faculty Research Award (2001), NSF Special Creativity Extension (1989). She has spoken at hundreds of national meetings of professional societies and organizations, U.S. Congressional briefings, DC National Press Club briefings, teleconferences, universities, and radio and TV programs, such as the McNeil-Lehrer News Hour.

In physical organic chemistry, she developed a new synthetically useful technique for gathering mechanistic information on addition reactions of alkenes; this technique used pattern recognition and often permitted selection of one mechanism from several proposed ones. The technique helped determine mechanisms of important addition reactions of alkenes, such as hydroboration, oxymercuration, bromination, Wacker reaction, and Wilkinson reaction. She later applied this research to functionalizing single walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs), which has applications in energy research. Recently her group showed that both covalent functionalization and complexation of organic molecules to SWCNTs causes nearby protons to be shifted downfield in the NMR.

She advises television programs, such as Breaking Bad, in order to further the universal goal of presenting accurate science to TV audiences. In accord with this program, in 2011, she organized the highly-popular Hollywood Chemistry symposium at the Anaheim ACS Meeting and Science on the Screen symposia at the Denver ACS Meeting, for ACS President Nancy Jackson.

Her scientific workforce development research entailed surveys (in FY2001 - FY2004, in FY2005, in FY2007, and in 2012) of faculty race/ethnicity, gender, and rank of top 50 departments in each of 15 science and engineering disciplines (chemistry, physics, math, chemical engineering, civil engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, computer science, political science, sociology, economics, biological sciences, and psychology). Comparing her faculty data vs Ph.D. and B.S. attainment revealed that generally, representation of females and underrepresented minorities on faculties is much less than in degree attainment. Her faculty data are complete populations, rather than samples, so they accurately reveal the small number or absence of underrepresented groups. They were obtained simultaneously and by a consistent protocol and are therefore comparable across a large number of disciplines. The GAO report using her data is available at http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d04639.pdf . Her final reports are available at http://faculty-staff.ou.edu/N/Donna.J.Nelson-1/diversity/Faculty_Tables_FY07/FinalReport07.html .

Her large organic chemistry classes were an opportunity to develop and evaluate learning devices for her students. The learning devices use a visual, rather than oral or written, presentation; two were adopted by publishers to accompany their major organic chemistry textbooks. Her research results and materials from a project, which was designed by Oklahoma high school students and which involved precipitate-forming reactions conducted in microgravity on board the STS-40, are the subject of a permanent educational exhibit demonstrating the scientific method, at the Oklahoma Air and Space Museum.

For more information, visit http://faculty-staff.ou.edu/N/Donna.J.Nelson-1/ or email her at DJNelson@ou.edu . Photos are at http://faculty-staff.ou.edu/N/Donna.J.Nelson-1/biosketch.html .