Renee Cole receives The James Flack Norris Award

Dr. Renee Cole
Tuesday, August 15, 2023 - 12:00am to 11:45pm

Dr. Renée Cole has been awarded the James Flack Norris Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Teaching of Chemistry ( with two of her collaborators, Dr. Susanne Ruder (Virginia Commonwealth University) and Dr. Juliette Lantz (Drew University). 

The award is one of (if not the) oldest award given out by the American Chemical Society and pays tribute to outstanding contributions to the field of chemical education. 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. 

Their contributions to chemistry education on the ELIPSS Project highlight how the thoughtful development of the assessment of process skills, including the development of rubrics, can or may have application at all levels; the rubrics can be used by instructors of chemistry from high school to the postsecondary level. The ELIPSS Project allows students from all STEM disciplines to self-assess their ability to think critically, solve problems, and communicate effectively. These process skills are crucial for the development of a workforce that is prepared, agile and in possession of the interpersonal, communication, and cognitive skills necessary to be effective team players.

In addition to the ELIPSS project, all three are active participants in the Process-Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning) project. Collectively, this trio have been early implementers of POGIL in large classrooms, served on The POGIL Project steering committee, authored textbooks for POGIL (analytical and organic focused), and have led faculty workshops and seminars both in the US and internationally.