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Chemistry Professor Matthew Fisher Named Chair of National Committee on Environmental Improvement

Public Relations
Posted: Friday Mar 8, 2013

March 8, 2013

Dr. Matthew A. Fisher, associate professor of the chemistry department in the Herbert W. Boyer School of Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Computing at Saint Vincent College, has been named chair of the American Chemical Society’s Committee on Environmental Improvement.

The committee is responsible for advising ACS governing bodies on pertinent environmental issues in science and public policy warranting action by the society. Specific responsibilities include monitoring environmental legislation and regulations for possible ACS comments or recommendations, keeping abreast of current and emerging environmental problems and researching environmental chemistry issues, developing society position statements and promoting environmental chemistry education in secondary schools, colleges and for the general public.

Fisher said that the committee faces several major issues. “The ACS board needs to approve policy statements on the environment, energy, sustainability and other topics for three year periods,” he said. “The policy on global climate change, which needs to be acted on in 2013, is a major issue and we need to make sure that the policy reflects the best information available.”

“The policy on chemical management and regulation is another major issue,” he continued. “We need to ensure that the policy statement reflects the expertise of the chemical community, what we have learned in recent years about issues such as biomonitoring and endocrine disruptors, and does so in a way that reflects the concerns of the entire chemistry community.”

Fisher, a member of the ACS committee on environmental improvement for a decade, is a senior member of the committee and was invited to chair the committee as a recognition of his previous work. “As we work on policy statements, it will create opportunities for discussions in my own classes,” he noted. “Given the important role that undergraduate education plays in establishing a foundation for the future, I want to find ways to bring these issues into my classes.”

Fisher, who earned a Ph.D. in biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, joined the Saint Vincent College faculty in 1995.

At Saint Vincent, Dr. Fisher has directed the Saint Vincent teaching enhancement and mentoring program, served as team leader for college involvement in the National Science Foundation-funded SENCER Project, participated in the common texts and interdisciplinary writing programs, has served on the biotechnology advisory committee and served as a member of the executive committee for the college’s center for ethics in community. He was selected by the Carnegie Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning as a 2005 Carnegie Scholar.

Dr. Fisher and his wife, Dr. Bettie Davis, who is also on the faculty at Saint Vincent, reside in Hempfield Township.

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Photo: Dr. Matthew A. Fisher 

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