Garrison honored with special edition of chemistry journal

The American Chemical Society is honoring Barbara Garrison, the Shapiro professor of chemistry and the head of the Department of Chemistry at Penn State, by dedicating the April edition of the Journal of Physical Chemistry C to the celebration of her scientific career. This special "festschrift" issue of the journal contains 49 scientific articles, many of which are authored by Garrison's colleagues, some of whom she mentored earlier in their careers when they were members of her research lab. The issue also contains a special preface that features a detailed narrative biography authored by four of her close colleagues, plus other sections that highlight some of her professional accomplishments. This issue of the Journal of Physical Chemistry C can be found at online.

Garrison is recognized as a pioneer in the use of computer modeling to simulate and understand chemical reactions on the surfaces of materials. She uses computer models to study the chemical reactions that rapid bursts of energy can produce on solid surfaces. These studies can be used to optimize the use of lasers for surgery, the mass spectrometry of biological molecules, and the process of thin-film deposition. Her models of the bombardment of solid surfaces with energetic particles have built a theoretical understanding of the complex events that lead to the ejection of molecules from surfaces. This understanding has contributed to advances in the interpretation of mass-spectrometry data for organic compounds and biological molecules and to the development of better techniques for the doping and depth profiling of semiconductors.

Garrison has received many honors in recognition of her accomplishments in scientific research and teaching, including the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Award for Newly Appointed Young Faculty in Chemistry in 1979, the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award in 1984, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Research Fellow Award in 1980, the American Vacuum Society Peter Mark Award in 1984, the Penn State Faculty Scholar Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Physical Sciences and Engineering in 1990, the American Chemical Society Akron Section Award in 1990, the American Chemical Society Francis P. Garvin-John M. Olin Medal in 1994, and the Penn State Eberly College of Science Distinguished Service Award in 2004. She was elected as a Fellow of the American Vacuum Society and of the American Physical Society in in 1994.

She also has served the chemistry community at the national level in positions on advisory committees of the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, and the Office of Naval Research. She has served the American Chemical Society Division of Physical Chemistry for the past decade in executive-committee and senior-level officer positions, including a term as the division's chair. She has been a member of the governing board of the Council of Chemical Research, a member of selection committees for American Chemical Society and American Physical Society awards, and a member of the editorial boards of several journals. She currently is a member of the editorial boards of the Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation, the Journal of Physical Chemistry, and the journal Accounts of Chemical Research.

Garrison earned a bachelor's degree in physics at Arizona State University in 1971 and a doctoral degree in chemistry at the University of California at Berkeley in 1975. She joined the Department of Chemistry as an assistant professor in 1979, was promoted to professor in 1986, and served as head of the department form 1989 to 1994. She was named Shapiro Professor of Chemistry in 2002. She provided additional leadership for the department by serving as chair of the New Chemistry Building Committee at Penn State throughout the nine-year planning process for the building. She was appointed to a second term as head of the department in July 2009.

Last Updated January 09, 2015