James Flack Norris Award
The James Flack Norris Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Teaching of Chemistry pays tribute to outstanding contributions to the field of chemical education. The Award consists of a $3,000 prize and a certificate. The presentation takes place at an Award Ceremony and dinner in November, followed by a formal address by the Awardee.
The Award, the first national award for outstanding achievement in the teaching of chemistry, was established in 1950 by the Northeastern Section of the American Chemical Society to honor the memory of James Flack Norris, Professor of Chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a teacher of great repute. For more information, please see the Brief History of the Norris Award.
The first award was made in 1951 to Professor George Shannon Forbes, an outstanding teacher at Harvard and, in retirement, at Northeastern University. Past awardees are given in the list of Norris Award recipients.
James Flack Norris: The Man and The Award
Click for a brief history of the Norris Award
Click for a bio of James Flack Norris
Click for a list of previous Norris Award recipients
Professor Melanie Cooper
2013 Norris Award to Professor Melanie M. Cooper
The Northeastern Section of the American Chemical Society is pleased to announce that Professor Melanie M. Cooper is the winner of the 2013 James Flack Norris Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Teaching of Chemistry.
Professor Cooper is the Lappan-Phillips Professor of Science Education and Professor of Chemistry at Michigan State University. Professor Cooper has been a pioneering influence on chemical education, bringing evidence-based practices to the development of curricula and assessments. Her work has focused, in particular, on improving outcomes for students in large enrollment courses including general and organic chemistry. The Award will be formally presented to Professor Cooper at the November 14 meeting of the Northeastern Section to be held at Tufts University.

Call for Nominations

The 2014 James Flack Norris Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Teaching of Chemistry

Deadline: April 15, 2014
Nominations are invited for the 2014 James Flack Norris Award, which consists of a certificate and an honorarium of $3,000 and is given annually by the Northeastern Section (NESACS). The presentation will take place at a ceremony and dinner in November 2014, and will include a formal address by the awardee. The Award was established in 1950 by NESACS to honor the memory of James Flack Norris (1871-1940), a professor of chemistry at Simmons College and M.I.T., chair of NESACS in 1904, and ACS President in 1925-26.
Nominees should have served with special distinction as teachers of chemistry at any level: secondary school, college, and/or graduate school. With the presentation of the first Award in 1951, awardees have included many eminent teachers at all levels whose efforts have had a wide-ranging effect on chemical education. The recipient will be selected from an international list of nominees who have served with special distinction as teachers of chemistry with significant achievements.
A nomination in the form of a letter should focus on the candidate’s contributions to and effectiveness in teaching chemistry. The nominee’s curriculum vitae should be included and, where appropriate, a list of honors, awards, and publications related to chemical education. Seconding letters may also be included; these should show the impact of the nominee’s teaching for inspiring colleagues and students toward an active life in the chemical sciences, and attest to the influence of the nominee’s other activities in chemical education, such as textbooks, journal articles, or other professional activity at the local, national, and international level.
The nomination materials should consist of the primary nomination letter, supporting letters, and the candidate’s curriculum vitae. Reprints or other publications should NOT be included. The material should not exceed thirty (30) pages, and should be submitted electronically in Adobe PDF format through April 15, 2014 to Ms. Anna Singer, NESACS Administrative Secretary <secretary@nesacs.org>. For more information about the Award, see the information at the top of this page .
Questions about the Award or the nomination process should be directed to the Chair of the Norris Award Committee, Professor Doris Lewis, <Dorislewis@gmail.com>.

Norris Award Symposium at Dallas Meeting
It may seem hard for some of us to imagine, but 2014 will see the awarding of the 50th James Flack Norris Award in Physical Organic Chemistry. This occasion is being marked with a symposium on Monday, Mar. 17, at the American Chemical Society (ACS) spring national meeting in Dallas. The symposium was organized by E. Thomas Strom and Jeffrey I. Seeman of the ACS Division of the History of Chemistry with the Northeastern ACS Section and the ACS Division of Organic Chemistry as co-sponsors. The symposium is titled “Fifty Years of the James Flack Norris Award. The Foundations of Physical Organic Chemistry.”
The opening comments will be given by Section Chair Catherine Costello. The introductory talk will be given by section member Arthur
Greenberg of the University of New Hampshire. His title is “James Flack Norris, A Pioneer in Chemical Education and His Early Contributions in Physical Organic Chemistry.” This talk will reveal some previously unknown material on Norris. The symposium will also include seven talks by early winners of this award. Those speakers are Edward Arnett, Ronald Breslow, Andrew Streitwieser, Jr., John Brauman, Paul Schleyer, Kendall Houk, and Michael Wasielewski.
The symposium will conclude with a panel discussion from additional winners of the award: Matthew Platz (the 2013 winner), John Baldwin, Ned Porter, Hans Reich, John Roberts, and Michael Wasielewski again. The symposium will be held at the Omni Dallas Hotel.
This symposium honors one of this section’s most distinguished members, James Flack Norris, and also this important award, which has kept Norris’ memory green. We hope that those section members attending the spring ACS meeting will be present to hear talks from these great physical organic chemists.
Fifty Years Of The James Flack Norris Award
8:55-9:00 am Opening Remarks, Catherine Costello, Northeastern ACS Section
9:00-9:30 am Arthur Greenberg, University of New Hampshire, “James Flack Norris, A Pioneer in Chemical Education and His Early Contributions in Physical Organic Chemistry”
9:30-10:00 am Edward M. Arnett, Duke, “Some Thermochemical Studies in the 1960s and 70s”
10:00-10:30 am Ronald Breslow, Columbia, “Aromaticity and Conductivity in Molecular Wires”
10:30-10:45 am Break
10:45-11:15 am Andrew Streitwieser, Jr., UC-Berkeley, “Hydrogen Isotopes in Physical Organic Chemistry”
11:15-11:45 am John I. Brauman, Stanford, “Adventures in Physical Organic Chemistry”
11:45 am -1:55 pm Lunch Break
1:55-2:00 pm Opening Remarks, Jeff Seeman, Moderator
2:00-2:30 pm Paul Schleyer, Georgia, “Norbornyl Cations Still Fascinate”
2:30-3:00 pm Kendall N. Houk, UCLA, “Physical Organic Chemistry with Computations: Pericyclic Reactions”
3:00-3:15 pm Break
3:15-3:45 pm Michael Wasielewski, Northwestern, “Understanding Electron Transfer Reactions: A Case Study in Physical Organic Chemistry”
3:45-4:45 pm Panel Discussion, “Whither Physical Organic Chemistry?”
Panelists: John Baldwin, Matthew Platz, Ned Porter, Hans Reich, John Roberts, Michael Wasielewski