By Mason Braasch
Pam Doolittle, a long-time member of the Department of Chemistry has been promoted to Distinguished Faculty Associate. In order to achieve this title, a professional must perform at a level of proficiency, have extensive experience, knowledge, and skills, as well as provide guidance and training to peers or other academic staff.
Doolittle started her journey at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, earning her Ph.D. under R. Claude Woods. Since 1998, she has served as the Analytical Lab Director in charge of primarily the undergraduate courses Chemistry 115 & 116, Chemistry 327 and Chemistry 329. Her contributions to instruction in the field of analytical sciences have been called “exceptional” by Chemistry Chair Judith Burstyn.
“She transformed our UW-Madison analytical curriculum, bringing state-of-the-art research from our department to the students in our undergraduate analytical classes,” said Burstyn, “she contributed curricular materials for the Open Education Resource (OER) the Analytical Sciences Digital Library, and she has written in and presented for the major venues of the field.”
Doolittle has put in lots of hard work for this promotion, however, she says that while she has worked hard for the distinction, she would not be where she is today without the support of her teaching staff and her peers.
“I have worked on building my CV and reputation for years to earn the Department’s support for this distinction,” said Doolittle. “ I published papers, presented at conferences, and got involved in promoting active learning at a national level. None of these things happened just because of me, but because of a team of people.”
Doolittle has a long list of people that she would like to thank, including her Ph.D. advisor R. Claude Woods. She also extends her thanks to John Wright, John Schrag, Matt Sanders, and Lloyd Smith, as well as her fellow lab directors, and TAs, and FAs who shared their vision for improvements to the program.
“Folks I work with will hear me say often, ‘It takes teamwork to make the dream work!’ and this was definitely true for creating the program we have today, ” said Doolittle
This semester, Doolittle has led the largest in-person instructional effort on the entire UW-Madison campus. Her continued dedication to the department, as well as her willingness to continue instruction in troubling times indicates why she is deserving of this promotion.
“I have worked in chemistry in one form or another for over 30 years and have spent my entire professional career in the service of the department and university.” she said, “It has been one of the great privileges of my life to work alongside its members, and engage the students taking courses in the program. I am really looking forward to the next chapter of the teaching program, as we move to the new tower in 2021.”