PULLMAN, Wash. — The Washington State University departments of chemistry and mathematics have announced the election of department chairs to four-year terms that begin August 16.

Sue Clark, professor of environmental chemistry, was elected chair of the Department of Chemistry. Clark joined the WSU faculty in 1996. She held the Edward R. Meyer Distinguished Professorship in 1999-2000 and holds the Westinghouse Professorship in Materials Science and Engineering. 

In addition to her teaching and research contributions at WSU, Clark maintains extensive involvement in national and international professional service. She serves as a member of the Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee for the U.S. Department of Energy, as a member of the Board on Radioactive Waste Management for the National Research Council and on a number of other advisory committees.  BESAC provides advice to the Basic Energy Sciences program on the direction and support of fundamental research on new energy technologies and mitigation of environmental impacts from energy production. The BRWM provides scientific and technical analyses a well as policy advice on all aspects of waste processing, management and disposal to ensure the protection of worker and public health and the environment. 

Clark also serves as the national director of the American Chemical Society’s Division of Nuclear Chemistry Summer School Program in Nuclear and Radiochemistry and serves on an international review panel for the German Helmholz Association, an agency that operates much like the national laboratories in the United States. Clark won a National Academy of Sciences Young Investigator Award in 1993 and received the Young Faculty Achievement Award from the WSU College of Sciences in 1999.

Clark will replace Ralph Yount, who has chaired the chemistry department since 1998.

He was previously chair of the newly formed biochemistry and biophysics program from 1973-1987. Yount, who came to WSU in 1960, has announced he will retire in August. He is a national leader in research on myosin, the contractile protein in muscles. The National Institute of Health has funded his research for more than 40 years without interruption. He received a MERIT award from NIH and served as president of both the Biophysical Society and the 60,000-member Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. He served as vice president of the Muscular Dystrophy Association, was a member of the board of scientific counselors for the Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases, chaired the Muscle Proteins Gordon Conference and was a member of the National Council of the Biophysical Society. Yount was the first recipient of the university’s Eminent Faculty Award in 2001 and was one of three to first be named a WSU Regents Professor in 2003. A biochemist/biophyicist, he holds appointments in the School of Molecuar Biosciences, the Department of Chemistry and Basic Medical Sciences (WWAMI). He will continue on a 40 percent appointment and focus on counseling younger faculty, particularly in grant writing.

Alan Genz was elected to a second term as chair of the Department of Mathematics. Genz came to WSU in 1983 as an associate professor of mathematics and computer science from the University of Kent in the United Kingdom, where he had taught for 12 years.  He has held visiting positions at Argonne National Labs and at the National Institute of Science and Technology. His main research area is numerical analysis, focusing on the theory, development and implementation of methods for the numerical computation of multiple integrals.  In addition to his administrative duties, Genz continues to teach courses on differential equations, numerical linear algebra and approximation theory and to advise graduate students. He has served in the Faculty Senate and on the All University Mathematics Committee. Over the past 14 years he has received a series of grants from the National Science Foundation for his research on numerical integration.