April 11, 2018

Marcetta Darensbourg Named 2018 SEC Professor of the Year

 Dr. Marcetta Darensbourg, Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at Texas A&M University, is the 2018 SEC Professor of the Year.
Dr. Marcetta Darensbourg, Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at Texas A&M University, is the 2018 SEC Professor of the Year.

By: Torie Johnson
SECU (Twitter: @TheSECU)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Dr. Marcetta Darensbourg, Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at Texas A&M University, has been named the 2018 SEC Professor of the Year, SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey announced on Wednesday. Darensbourg is the first faculty member from Texas A&M to win the honor.

A Kentucky native, Dr. Darensbourg is a global leader in developing methods to enable sustainable hydrogen-powered fuel cell technology. Her research focuses on biology-inspired chemistry and the search for inexpensive, eco-friendly alternative energy options.

“Marcetta Darensbourg exemplifies all that we hope and expect a faculty member to be in the Southeastern Conference,” said Sankey. “She has dedicated her career to conducting transformative research while maintaining a firm commitment to instructing students at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. We are pleased to bestow upon her our highest faculty honor.”

Dr. Darensbourg teaches courses in organometallic and inorganic chemistry, and has directed the dissertations of more than 50 students during her 30 years in College Station. She has received nearly every teaching and student mentoring award offered by the university, including several Distinguished Achievement Awards from the Association of Former Students.

In recognizing her research, Dr. Darensbourg has numerous awards. She was the first woman to receive the American Chemical Society (ACS) Distinguished Service in the Advancement of Inorganic Chemistry Award, the society’s top annual honor in this realm. She is an inaugural Fellow of the ACS as well as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2017, she was elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

“All of us at Texas A&M are thrilled that Dr. Darensbourg is being recognized by the Southeastern Conference for her contributions to the academy and the world,” said Michael K. Young, President of Texas A&M University. “She is an exceptional scientist and professor who has greatly enriched the lives and careers of her students and trainees. She is an extraordinary representative of the SEC and of Texas A&M.”

The SEC Professor of the Year Award is given annually to one SEC faculty member whose record of teaching and research places him or her among the elite in higher education. Winners are selected by the SEC Provosts from among the 14 SEC Faculty Achievement Award recipients. In recognition of the honor, the SEC will provide Dr. Darensbourg with a $20,000 honorarium, and she will be formally presented during the SEC Awards Dinner in May.

The SEC Faculty Achievement and SEC Professor of the Year Awards are foundational programs designed by the SEC to support and promote the academic endeavors and achievements of its students, faculty and administrators.

Below is a list of the past SEC Professor of the Year Award winners., you may may read more about Dr. Darensbourg here.

2017, Dr. James Birchler, Curators’ Distinguished Professor of Biological Sciences, University of Missouri

2016, Dr. Isiah Warner, Boyd Professor, Analytical and Environmental Chemistry, LSU

2015, Dr. Isabel Gauthier, Professor of Radiology and Radiological Science, Vanderbilt University

2014, Dr. John Hall, Arthur C. Guyton Professor, Physiology and Biophysics, University of Mississippi

2013, Dr. Hap McSween, Distinguished Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of Tennessee

2012, Dr. Loch Johnson, Regents Professor of Public and International Affairs, University of Georgia