Trinity Chemists Named Cottrell Scholars | Trinity University

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Trinity Chemists Named Cottrell Scholars

Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Adam Urbach and Bert Chandler recognized as outstanding professors

Adam Urbach and Bert Chandler

Professors Bert Chandler and Adam Urbach recognized as outstanding teacher-scholars and innovative researchers

by Susie P. Gonzalez

Two Trinity University chemistry professors have been named Cottrell Scholars by the Research Corporation for Science Advancement in recognition for their abilities as outstanding teacher-scholars in their academic discipline.

Bert Chandler, who previously was recognized as a Cottrell College Science Awardee in 2001, and Adam Urbach, a 2005 recipient of the same award, were given the additional designation as Cottrell Scholars based upon a stringent review process that considered their innovative research projects and education programs.

Previously, the prestigious Cottrell Scholars program was restricted to faculty at large research universities. In 2015, the Research Corporation expanded the program to include faculty at primarily undergraduate institutions (PUIs) like Trinity, to include 50 top PUI teacher-scholars in the fields of chemistry, physics, and astronomy. These new Cottrell Scholars represent just three percent of the PUI faculty supported by the Cottrell College Science Awards in the last 25 years. This cohort will engage in a collaborative of cross-disciplinary scientists to work in teams on high impact educational projects and be eligible to seek additional grants to further potentially transformative research.

Both Chandler and Urbach have received substantial research grants and have involved undergraduate students who are eager to explore chemistry at a deep level. Chandler, whose fields are inorganic chemistry and heterogeneous catalysis, works with tiny gold particles to understand how they can be used to catalyze chemical reactions. His research with collaborators from Trinity and the University of Houston was published in the journal Science and on the Science Express website.

Urbach, an organic chemist who works in the areas of bio-organic chemistry and biochemical engineering, analyzes synthetic receptors that interact with peptides and proteins such as insulin.  

Silvia Ronco, program director for the Research Corporation, said it is an honor for professors such as Chandler and Urbach to join the Cottrell Scholar (CS) community. “The CS program would not be complete without participation of this exceptionally talented group of established PUI faculty who, after receiving CCSA support, were nationally recognized with other prestigious teacher-scholar awards from several foundations and professional organizations,” Ronco said.

Susie P. Gonzalez, director of public and media relations, can be reached at susie.gonzalez [at] or @susiegonz