David Kenneth Lewis, 1964

Doctor of Science

David Kenneth Lewis, currently the Margaret W. Kelly Professor of Chemistry at Connecticut College, has had a long career dedicated to teaching and conducting research with undergraduate science  students.

After graduating from Amherst with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, Lewis earned a Ph.D. from Cornell in 1969. From there, he proceeded to Colgate University, where he taught for 26 years. He arrived at Connecti­cut College in 1995 and was named the Margaret W. Kelly Professor the following year. From 1997 to 2000, he was both dean of the faculty and provost, in which capacity he had a keen interest in creating opportunities for joint faculty-­student research. He also served as interim president of Connecticut College in 2001.

At both Connecticut College and Colgate, in addition to teaching courses during the academic year, Lewis has directed 40 consecutive summer research programs with undergraduates. He also offers students intern­ ships studying air pollution, climate and energy at Aerodyne Research, Inc., where he is an affiliated scientist. His own research interests include fast chemical reaction rates and mechanisms in shock tubes, computer model­ing of prototype  chemical reactions, ultra­high­resolution laser spectros­ copy and atmospheric chemistry and physics.

Lewis has published  dozens of articles, most with undergraduate co­-authors, in The Journal of Physical Chemistry, the Journal of the American Chemical Society and elsewhere. He is a reviewer for these two journals as well as for the Journal of the Air Pollution Control Association, International Journal of Chemical Kinetics, American Journal of Physiology and Journal of Chemical Education.

Lewis is a member of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the Council on Undergraduate Research and Sigma Xi. The ACS recently recognized him with its 2012 Award for Research at an Undergraduate  Institution, which honors a chemistry faculty member whose research has achieved wide recognition and contributed significantly to chemistry and to the professional development of undergraduates. Connecticut College Profes­sor Stanton Ching, in nominating him, noted that Lewis makes a particular effort to extend  research opportunities to women and minority students, who are often underrepresented in the sciences.