Texas A&M University Distinguished Professor of Chemistry Dr. Marcetta Y. Darensbourg has been elected as a 2011 Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one the country's oldest and most prestigious honorary learned societies.

Darensbourg, a world-renowned expert in synthetic and mechanistic inorganic chemistry, is one of the 196 new fellows and 16 new foreign honorary members announced by the Academy today (April 19). Drawn from the sciences, the arts and humanities, business, public affairs and the non-profit sector, the 212 scholars, scientists, writers, artists, civic, corporate and philanthropic leaders include Nobel, Pulitzer and Pritzker Prize winners; Turing Award and MacArthur and Guggenheim Fellowship recipients; and winners of Kennedy Center Honors as well as Grammy, Golden Globe and Academy Awards.

"It is a privilege to honor these men and women for their extraordinary individual accomplishments," said Leslie Berlowitz, Academy President and William T. Golden Chair. "The knowledge and expertise of our members give the Academy a unique capacity -- and responsibility -- to provide practical policy solutions to the pressing challenges of the day. We look forward to engaging our new members in this work."

Darensbourg joins Dr. Marlan O. Scully, distinguished professor of physics (2008), Dr. Ronald A. DeVore, distinguished professor of mathematics (2001), Dr. David M. Lee, professor of physics (1990), and Dr. Dudley R. Herschbach, professor of physics (1964), as current Texas A&M faculty members featured in the eminent society. One of Darensbourg's longtime colleagues, the late Texas A&M inorganic chemist Dr. F. Albert Cotton, ranks as the university's inaugural honoree, earning election in 1962.

"On behalf of Texas A&M University, I congratulate Dr. Darensbourg on this most impressive addition to her long list of professional accolades," said Texas A&M President R. Bowen Loftin. "Her discoveries in the fields of synthetic and mechanistic inorganic chemistry have aided researchers around the world, and her award-winning expertise as a teacher has benefited generations of students."

Darensbourg will be officially inducted as an Academy Fellow at an October 1 ceremony at the Academy's headquarters in Cambridge, Mass.

"We are so pleased that Professor Darensbourg has been so honored," said Dr. H. Joseph Newton, dean of the College of Science. "Her outstanding record as a scholar-educator makes her an ideal member of this wonderful group."

A member of the Texas A&M faculty since 1982, Darensbourg earned her doctorate in inorganic chemistry at the University of Illinois in 1967 and held faculty appointments at Vassar College (1967-69), State University of New York, Buffalo (1969-71) and Tulane University (1971-82) before coming to Texas A&M. Her research, which focuses on functioning models of catalytic active sites in bioinorganic/organometallic systems, has been recognized with a variety of major awards, including the American Chemical Society's Distinguished Service in the Advancement of Inorganic Chemistry Award (1995), the ACS Southwest Region Award (1998) and Texas A&M Association of Former Students Distinguished Achievement Awards in both Research (1995) and Teaching (1986). In addition, she was honored as an inaugural ACS Fellow in 2009 and appointed a distinguished professor of chemistry at Texas A&M in 2010.

Darensbourg has authored more than 200 refereed papers, co-edited two specialty chemistry books, co-authored a freshman chemistry textbook and given plenary lectures at several prestigious international conferences. In addition to being an in-demand presenter and international symposia organizer, she is active in professional bodies beyond the ACS, including the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health and advisory panels for the Petroleum Research Fund. She currently serves on the editorial boards for Inorganic Chemistry, Inorganic Synthesis and Chemical Communications.

"Professor Darensbourg has made many contributions to the teaching and research mission of Texas A&M University, and the recognition afforded by this award underscores the importance of these contributions," 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.

Founded in 1780 by John Adams, James Bowdoin, John Hancock and other scholar-patriots, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences features many of the finest minds and most influential leaders from each generation, including some 250 Nobel laureates and more than 60 Pulitzer Prize winners. As a leading center for independent policy research, the Academy and its members undertake studies of complex and emerging problems, including science and technology policy, global security, social policy and American institutions, the humanities and education.

For more information on the Academy as well as a list of current Fellows, visit http://www.amacad.org.


Contact: Shana K. Hutchins, (979) 862-1237 or shutchins@tamu.edu or Dr. Marcetta Y. Darensbourg, (979) 845-5417 or marcetta@chem.tamu.edu

Hutchins Shana

  • Dr. Marcetta Y. Darensbourg

    Darensbourg is one of five current Texas A&M University faculty members featured in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, joining physicists Dr. Marlan O. Scully (2008), Dr. David M. Lee (1990) and Dr. Dudley R. Herschbach (1964) and mathematician Dr. Ronald A. DeVore (2001) in the eminent society.

  • Ceremonial Moment

    Marcetta York Darensbourg, Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, Texas A&M University, signs the American Academy of Arts and Sciences' Book of Members, a tradition that dates back to 1780, as part of the official induction ceremony held October 1 in Cambridge, Mass.

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