In announcing Dr. Dermer's award, Ron Tyrl, President of the Academy, cited him for his many years of outstanding service as Copy Editor for the Proceedings of the Oklahoma Academy of Science. "Dr. Dermer is an individual who performs magic in transforming submitted manuscripts into publishable papers." Dr. Dermer followed professional editorial practice in that the entire focus of his work was to make the author look and sound good. Any of you who have had him edit a paper know that he was no mere guardian of the language and science, but was truly interested in getting your information to the people who read the journal.
Dr. Dermer was born in 1909 in Hoytville, Ohio. He completed his Ph.D. in chemistry in 1934 at Ohio State University. In 1935, he married Verne Hughes, and they have three children. In 1934, he joined the faculty of Oklahoma A&M University and remained there for his entire career. He is currently Regents Service Professor Emeritus of Chemistry.
Dr. Dermer saw the importance of bringing the world outside the academy into the class room, so he was an active consultant with chemical and publishing companies. He was also a member of six professional organizations (including OAS and, notably, the Royal Society of Chemistry in London), and was active in campus committee work. He was also active at the national level. In what must be the supreme demonstration of commitment to communicating chemistry to his peers and colleagues, Dr. Dermer served 30 years as an abstractor for Chemical Abstracts and 20 years as Section Editor for the same publication.
His honors and publications list is both long and impressive. He received an honorary doctorate from Bowling Green State University in 1960. He was in Who's Who in America and American Men and Women of Science. He won the Oklahoma Chemist Award in 1974 and lectured extensively for the Welch Foundation of Texas and the American Chemical Society. Five pages of his curriculum vitae are needed to list his numerous professional publications.
What more fitting tribute to Dr. Dermer's contribution to OAS than President Tyrl's closing words as he remember his first collaboration: "I had cajoled Otis into helping me edit Volume 6 of the academy's Annals, and as we worked through the submitted manuscripts, he taught me the philosophy of editorial review." On behalf of countless authors of POAS manuscripts, we thank you, Otis, for your contributions to our academy and scientific endeavor.