Dr. Wendy L. Keeney-Kennicutt, senior lecturer in the Department of Chemistry at Texas A&M University, has been named a 2010 Piper Professor.

The Piper Professor Award, which includes a certificate, gold pin and $5,000 honorarium, was established by the San Antonio-based Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation in 1958 to annually recognize 15 outstanding college professors across Texas. Selection is by invitation only and is made on the basis of nominations submitted by each college or university, public and private, statewide.

Keeney-Kennicutt, who joined the Texas A&M faculty in 1984 after earning her Ph.D. in chemical oceanography from Texas A&M, is widely respected by colleagues and students alike for her excellence in teaching and engagement. In 2009, she became the first non-tenured faculty member to be named a Presidential Professor for Teaching Excellence, Texas A&M's highest honor bestowed for life in recognition of teaching prowess. In addition to a 2010 Student Led Award for Teaching Excellence (SLATE) from The Texas A&M University System, she has been recognized by The Association of Former Students with the Distinguished Achievement Award for Teaching at both the university (2001) and college (1991) levels, as well as by Gamma Sigma Delta (honor society for agriculture) with its Outstanding Teacher Award (1998).

"I am honored to be a recipient of this prestigious award," Keeney-Kennicutt said. "I love teaching chemistry to Aggie undergraduates and sharing my passion for chemistry with others in fun and exciting ways."

During her 26-year career at Texas A&M, Keeney-Kennicutt has worked in a variety of science-related professions, from research scientist to laboratory supervisor. A familiar face to most science undergraduate students as the associate director of Texas A&M's First Year Chemistry Program, she also is a longtime member of the Texas A&M's popular Chemistry Road Show, an educational outreach program that introduces an estimated 4,000 people -- predominantly Texas schoolchildren -- to the wonders of chemistry each year. For the past 11 years, she has served as primary organizer of Texas A&M's Chemistry Open House and Science Exploration Gallery, hosted each fall by the Texas A&M Local Section of the American Chemical Society in conjunction with the Texas A&M Department of Chemistry as part of National Chemistry Week.

"Dr. Wendy Keeney-Kennicutt reflects the excellence of our First Year Chemistry Program, and she also plays a key role in our engagement with local, regional and state-wide programs," said Dr. David H. Russell, Applied Biosystems/MDS Sciex Professor of Mass Spectrometry in Chemistry at Texas A&M and head of the Department of Chemistry. "The recognition afforded by the Piper Professor Award is well-deserved and underscores the importance of these activities."

Keeney-Kennicutt's additional previous honors and awards include the Excellence in Quality Enhancement Award, a 2007 "Enhancing the Teaching Assistant/Undergraduate Student Experience in the First-Year Chemistry Program" award at the 7th Annual Texas A&M Assessment Conference and the ACS's 2005 ChemLuminary Award recognizing Texas A&M's annual open house as an Outstanding On-Going National Chemistry Week (NCW) Event.

The Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation was organized in 1950 to support charitable, scientific, or educational causes by providing for, or contributing toward the education of financially limited but worthy students; by assisting young men and women residents of Texas, attending or wishing to attend colleges and universities in the state of Texas, to complete their education and obtain degrees; by contributing to community chests, and supporting any other non-profit organization or activity dedicated to the furtherance of the general welfare within the state of Texas.

To learn more about the Piper Foundation or the activities it supports in addition to the Piper Professor Program, visit http://www.everychanceeverytexan.org/.

For more on Keeney-Kennicutt, go to http://www.chem.tamu.edu/faculty/kennicutt/ .


Contact: Shana K. Hutchins, (979) 862-1237 or shutchins@science.tamu.edu or Dr. Wendy L. Keeney-Kennicutt, (979) 845-3256 or kennicutt@mail.chem.tamu.edu

Hutchins Shana


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