FLORENCE, S.C. – David Peterson was elected chairman of the Francis Marion University Department of Chemistry and Physics by the faculty of the department, April 19. Peterson, a physics professor, will replace Barbara Hankinson in the position.
Peterson has been a member of the Francis Marion faculty since 1979. He was the university’s Distinguished Professor in 1994-95.
“I want to continue the excellent programs in chemistry and physics and maintain the good work of Dr. Hankinson,” Peterson said.
He said one of the projects he will be working on is re-approval of the chemistry program by the American Chemical Society.
Peterson earned the B.S. degree with a major in physics from London University and the Ph.D. degree in physics from North Carolina State University. He is a native of Manchester, England.
Hankinson, a chemistry professor, said she decided to step down as chairwoman to devote more time to teaching.
“I have learned a lot from administration, but my real love is teaching,” she said.
Hankinson, who has been on the FMU faculty since 1982, said she is proud of the recently developed relationship between the department and local pharmaceutical industries Roche Carolina Inc. and IRIX Pharmaceuticals Inc.
“We’ve seen an increase in graduates in the chemistry program,” she said.
Hankinson earned the B.S. degree (magna cum laude) in biology and physical science and the M.S. degree in chemistry and biology from the Mississippi University for Women. She received the Ph.D. degree in organic chemistry (natural products) from Mississippi State University. She is a native of Roswell, N.M.
“I would like to thank Dr. Hankinson for her dedication over the years. The Department of Chemistry and Physics has made great strides under her leadership,” said FMU Interim Provost Joseph Heyward.
“At the same time, I am looking forward to working with Dr. Peterson in his new role as chairman of the department,” Heyward said. “He is a highly respected faculty member, as his peers demonstrated by electing him, and he is a tremendous asset to Francis Marion University.”
Peterson will assume his new duties July 1.
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