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Volume 77—1997

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Warren T. Ford

Oklahoma Scientist of the Year

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Picture of Dr. Warren Ford receiving award

Dr. Warren T. Ford, Regents Professor of Chemistry at Oklahoma State University, is this year's recipient of the Oklahoma Scientist of the Year Award.

Dr. Ford was born in Kalamazoo, MI, on March 22, 1942. In 1963 he graduated Cum Laude with an A.B. from Wabash College. A member of Phi Beta Kappa, he majored in chemistry.

While attending the University of California in Los Angeles, where he majored in chemistry, Dr. Ford worked as a teaching assistant in general and organic chemistry. In 1967, Ford received the Ph.D. degree. That same year he married Sharon Tenney, and began a year-long postdoctoral appointment at Harvard University, under the direction of Paul Bartlett.

After his year at Harvard, Dr. Ford was appointed Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois, Champaign/Urbana, where he taught organic chemistry for non-majors; beginning and intermediate synthetic laboratory for majors; and graduate-level courses in organic reaction mechanisms, carbanion chemistry, and student seminars in literature and environmental chemistry.

His former graduate advisees from the University of Illinois have progressed to prestigious positions at Wayne State University, 3M Company, General Motors, Dow Chemical, and Velsicol Chemical.

He stayed at the University of Illinois until 1975, when he became a senior research chemist at Rohm and Haas Company in Spring House, PA. While there, Dr. and Mrs. Ford had their first child, Sarah, in 1976.

Dr. Ford came to Oklahoma State University as an Assistant Professor in 1978. He was pomoted to Associate Professor in 1980, and celebrated the birth of his second daughter, Emily, that same year. In 1983, Dr. Ford was promoted to Professor of Chemistry and has been Regents Professor since 1994. He was instrumental in establishing, and has recently been appointed Director of, the new 600 MHz NMR Statewide Facility located within the OSU Chemistry Department.

As a visiting scientist, Dr. Ford worked at the Max-Planck-Institut für Polymer-forschung, Mainz, West Germany from 1985 to 1986. And from August to December of 1992, Dr. Ford took a sabbatical leave to study at the University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

While at OSU, Dr. Ford has taught various undergraduate courses, such as beginning organic chemistry for majors, polymer chemistry via closed-circuit television, identification of organic compounds, and several graduate courses including graduate-level Polymer chemistry, mechanisms of organic reactions, organic spectroscopy, colloid chemistry, and NMR and solid state NMR spectroscopy. His former graduate and post doctoral advisees at OSU have had successful careers at, for example, Union Industrial Research Laboratories in Taiwan, CYDSA group, California Institute of Technology, and DuPont.

Dr. Ford has a variety of research interests including polymer-supported sythesis and catalysis, NMR spectroscopy of polymers, polymer synthesis and properties, poly-

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mer colloids, liquid crystalline polymers, and optical materials. He has received a total of $4,273,493 from numerous grants and contracts throughout his career. His contributions to the American Chemical Society range from local section secretary to publications manager to symposium chair. And he has published in many distinguished journals, including the Journal of the American Chemical Society, Journal of Organic Chemistry, and Journal of Polymer Science, has edited a book entitled Polymeric Reagents and Catalysts, and holds seven patents.

Dr. Ford, through his years of dedicated teaching, mentoring, research, and involvement in the study of chemistry, is truly an asset to the scientific community; we congratulate him on his numerous achievements and especially on being named Oklahoma Scientist of the Year.

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