- Category: Volume 88 (Fall 2016 - Spring 2017)
- Published: 28 September 2016
- Written by DANIELLE SCHIPANI | EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Steven Bachrach, Ph.D. was appointed as the new Dean of the School of Science at the University as of Aug. 1, and is most looking forward to increasing the opportunity for students to be engaged in research.
Previously, Bachrach had worked as the Assistant Vice-President for Special Projects at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. During his time there, he was also the Department of Chemistry Chair and a Chemistry Professor. He started teaching at Northern Illinois University.
“This was a terrific opportunity for me. This Dean position is exactly the kind of opportunity and challenge I was looking for,” said Bachrach.
He said there is already much of this occurring at the University, including the ongoing summer research project, which has been in place for nine years now. “For me, the best way for students to learn science is to do science. That means discovery, which you see in the research environment,” the Dean pointed out.
“I haven’t actually met him or gotten to hear any of his ideas and policies but I have heard from many professors that he is very laid back and friendly,” said Kristen Jezycki, a senior marine bio student.
According to Bachrach, a current weakness in the department is that they are presently short staffed and he would like to see more faculty.
Bachrach’s long term goal is to engage with the community and increase the profile and reputation of the University, ultimately leading to a stronger student body. “I will be successful if colleges of ours in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, will look to us and say there is really good science going on and that they want to send their son or daughter to Monmouth to get a solid, modern, cutting edge science education. What I would really love to see is students applying specifically to come to Monmouth for the sciences because they know they can engage in research right away,” he explained.
Current strengths of the department include the foundation in doing research as well as the ongoing construction which will lead to a tremendous improvement in facilities. “This is a really important step in order to improve the safety conditions and the quality of the laboratories and have an expansion of space,” said Bachrach.
Bachrach expanded on the aspects of the construction that are expected to make a major difference for the science department. During his time at Trinity he experience the same type of construction and knows what to expect from an expansion like this.
He said that before construction started, Edison and Howard Hall were state of the art 1960. “How you build a science building back then is very different than how you build a science building today. What we will see in the new building is a lot of glass, a lot of outside light, and science out on display. The idea is you want to engage people as they walk through the building. Students will walk into the completed science building and they will have a smile on their face because the building will be warm, welcoming, and engaging,” he said.
The entire project is expected to be finished by spring 2018.
“I know he introduced himself at the School of Science BBQ and I think he’s great and will really be a great face for the upcoming new School of Science,” said Athena Masi, a junior chemistry student.
“Hopefully he’ll do a good job of keeping up the science programs here at Monmouth thats really all I can ask of him,” said Andrew Betro, junior biology and psych student.
Bachrach has experience in two specific areas: theoretical organic chemistry, and the use of the internet as a means for chemical communication, as the founder and chief editor of the first true internet based chemistry journal.
According to his official biography, Dr. Bachrach has authored more than 150 publications, including his book Computational Organic Chemistry, as well as the the monograph Computational Organic Chemistry,and served as Editor-in-Chief of theInternet Journal of Chemistryfor seven years. Dr. Bachrach is the recipient of more than $2 million dollars in grant funding, most notably from the National Science Foundation, American Chemical Society and the Welch Foundation.
In his free time, Bachrach enjoys reading, art, and the theater and looks forward to going to both Pollack Theatre performances, as well as shows in Manhattan.