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Danna Freedman named Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar

Inorganic chemist’s work harnesses chemical intuition to approach fundamental challenges in physics

EVANSTON - Danna Freedman, a chemist in Northwestern University’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, is among 13 honorees nationwide selected to receive a 2018 Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award.

danna freedman 186x232The Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation awards the research grant annually to young faculty in the chemical sciences who have created an independent body of outstanding scholarship and demonstrated a commitment to education.

The unrestricted $75,000 award will support Freedman’s efforts to harness chemical intuition to approach fundamental challenges in physics. Her laboratory’s work focuses on three vital areas of contemporary physics: studying quantum information science, probing magnetism and creating new emergent materials.

“Starting up a lab and creating new science from scratch is invigorating and terrifying,” said Freedman, an assistant professor of chemistry. “This award recognizes the work of my current and former students and postdocs who built up a lab and discovered new science. I personally appreciate the concept of a teacher-scholar award that recognizes the inherent pedagogical nature of science; scientists are fundamentally both teachers and scholars. Recognition of our laboratory’s work, such as this award, helps our discoveries reach a broader audience.”

Freedman integrates research and education by incorporating new scientific discoveries into Northwestern’s introductory chemistry curriculum through a combination of demonstrations, lecture examples and student-created products. Her research program also allows her graduate students to make and measure their own materials to learn synthetic techniques, crystallography, magnetism and spectroscopy.

The Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation is a leading nonprofit organization devoted to the advancement of the chemical sciences. Its purpose is “to advance the science of chemistry, chemical engineering and related sciences as a means of improving human relations and circumstances in the world.”

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