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Dasgupta receives American Chemical Society's J. Calvin Giddings Award

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Media Contact: Bridget Lewis

News Topics: awards, chemistry, faculty

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Purnendu “Sandy” Dasgupta, the Jenkins Garrett Professor of Chemistry at The University of Texas at Arlington, has received the 2015 American Chemical Society Division of Analytical Chemistry J. Calvin Giddings Award for Excellence in Education. 

Purnendu “Sandy” Dasgupta

The national award recognizes a scientist who has enhanced the professional development of analytical chemistry students, developed and published innovative experiments, designed and improved equipment or teaching labs and published influential textbooks or significant articles on teaching analytical chemistry.

“I am a third generation university teacher. So, much of this honor I can credit to my father and grandfather -- I am merely carrying on that tradition,” Dasgupta said. “I am especially honored by this award. I have been recognized for some research accomplishments or other in the past but this one recognizes for the first time my commitment to and love for teaching and that is why it is so gratifying.”

UT Arlington President Vistasp M. Karbhari said Dr. Dasgupta’s newest honor demonstrates the high quality of University faculty as exceptional models for advanced research and educational excellence.

“Dr. Dasgupta is remarkably accomplished, and his work in analytical chemistry addresses some of the most critical issues in our world,” President Karbhari said. “This recognition by such a prestigious institution serves as testament to his commitment to teaching and research excellence as well as his dedication to developing the next generation of leaders in discipline.”

Dasgupta’s research area includes: methods for environmentally-friendly analysis of arsenic in drinking water; rapid analysis of trace heavy metals in the atmosphere; iodine nutrition in women and infants and the role of the chemical perchlorate; and the development of a NASA-funded ion chromatograph for testing extraterrestrial soil, such as on a trip to Mars.

Dasgupta has published articles and led workshops on ion chromatography. He is the author of more than 400 scientific papers and book chapters and holds 25 U.S. patents. His work has earned more than $18 million in research grants.

As this year’s award recipient, Dasgupta will receive a plaque and cash prize. He will also attend the ACS national conference in August in Boston, where he will address and participate in an awards symposium on education in analytical chemistry.

Dasgupta joined the UT Arlington College of Science in 2007 after a distinguished 25-year career at Texas Tech University. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Burdwan, West Bengal, India and a doctoral degree from Louisiana State University. Dasgupta was named the Jenkins Garrett Professor of Chemistry in 2007. He was named a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers in 2014.

In addition to his teaching, research and publications, Dasgupta has served as editor and as an editorial advisory board member of Analytica Chimica Acta. He took the lead role in revising the 7th edition of the textbook, “Analytical Chemistry,” originally authored by Gray D. Christian of the University of Washington, and now with Dasgupta and his colleague Kevin Schug, Shimadzu Distinguished Professor of Analytical Chemistry at UT Arlington, as co-authors. 

Dasgupta said, however, that he celebrates in seeing his students succeed.

“I would much rather, as the saying goes, teach someone to fish than bring him some fish. And it is a growth process for me," he said. "Even teaching undergraduate classes, I discover every time anew what the French moralist Joubert said: ‘To teach is to learn twice over.’ I have already had students who have surpassed my own accomplishments and I rejoice in that fact. There is a proverb in Sanskrit that goes: ‘The highest reward of a Guru is to be outdone by the disciple.’  But let’s not go overboard here -- I still hate to grade.”

The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With more than 161,000 members, ACS is the world’s largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio. Visit www.acs.org for more information.

About The University of Texas at Arlington

The University of Texas at Arlington is a comprehensive research institution of almost 48,000 students around the world and the second largest institution in The University of Texas System. The Chronicle of Higher Education ranked UT Arlington as the seventh fastest-growing public research university in 2013. U.S. News & World Report ranks UT Arlington fifth in the nation for undergraduate diversity. Visit www.uta.edu to learn more, and find UT Arlington rankings and recognition at www.uta.edu/uta/about/rankings.php.

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The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.