UA Blog

Judging Chair Spotlight: Prof. Owen P. Priest

Owen Priest is presently a Professor of Instruction in the Department of Chemistry at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, USA.  His career in teaching began thirty years ago when he taught high school chemistry and physics, first in Vermont and then in Massachusetts.  After four years of teaching at the high school level, his love of teaching and chemistry led him to pursue a Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota, where he studied under Professor Thomas R. Hoye.

 As a member of the Hoye group, Professor Priest trained as a natural products synthetic organic chemist and was a member of the team that was one of the first to carry out the total synthesis of Michellamines A, B, & C.  After completing his doctoral work, Professor Priest taught at Grinnell College as well as Hobart and William Smith Colleges before joining the faculty at Northwestern University.

After serving as the university’s Director of Undergraduate Organic Laboratories for thirteen years, Priest became a Professor of Instruction and continues to teach organic chemistry classes as well as upper-level courses for chemistry majors.  He has been recognized for his teaching, has served on executive committees within the American Chemical Society (ACS), and has served as the Committee Chair for the American Chemical Society’s LGBT Chemists and Allies committee. He has served on committees that have written exams for the ACS Exams Institute, including a term as the Committee Chair for the American Chemical Society’s 2014 First-Term Organic Chemistry Exam.  In 2014, as they were preparing to celebrate their 175th anniversary, the Royal Society of Chemistry selected Priest as one of the 175 faces representing diversity in the chemical sciences. 

We at The Undergraduate Awards thank Prof. Priest for his work as Judging Chair of the Chemical & Pharmaceutical Sciences category thus far.

Past papers of Global Winners and Highly Commended Entrants to the Chemical & Pharmaceutical Science category can be found here.