NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- The Iona College Board of Trustees has created the first fully endowed professorship, part of the College’s strategic plan, Advancing Our Legacy and Defining Our Future, and its comprehensive fundraising campaign, Iona Forever.
The first holder of the professorship will be Sunghee Lee, Ph.D., professor of Analytical Chemistry and department chair. The honor also will carry a stipend, additional funds for research and scholarly activity, along with the title of Iona College Board of Trustees Endowed Professor in Science.
Dr. Lee joins Elena Procario-Foley, Ph.D., as a holder of a named professorship at Iona. Dr. Procario-Foley, associate professor of Religious Studies and Religious Studies department chair, was named the Brother John G. Driscoll Professor of Jewish-Catholic Studies in 1998.
“I congratulate Dr. Lee on this most deserving honor, which underlines the importance of supporting and recognizing outstanding faculty members who dedicate their life’s work to our students elevating the College and contributing significantly to their disciplines,” said Iona President Joseph E. Nyre, Ph.D. “She serves as a tremendous model for academic excellence at Iona.”
Dr. Lee received her Ph.D. from Brown University in inorganic/analytical chemistry and also completed postdoctoral studies at Texas A&M and Duke universities. She teaches General Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry and Instrumental Analysis. Her research involves the chemistry of soft materials with an emphasis on their interfaces and surfaces, directed toward crystal engineering and materials design needed for the development of advanced functional materials.
Since coming to Iona in 2004, Dr. Lee has established a balanced combination of her own professional development and student education by engaging undergraduates as an integral part of scholarship. By the end of the spring 2014 semester, 24 undergraduate research participants have graduated, with 18 students in postgraduate programs (MD, Ph.D. and others). Dr. Lee's research and educational activities, which have been funded at over a million dollars by the National Science Foundation and American Chemical Society (ACS) among others, have achieved wide recognition and contributed significantly to the field of chemistry as well as to the development of Iona students. She has 26 peer-reviewed publications and more than 100 conference papers and presentations, most of which include undergraduate co-authors. Among her honors, Dr. Lee received a 2013 Rising Star Award by the ACS Women Chemists Committee. She also received the 2013 Distinguished Scientist Award from the ACS NY section's Westchester Chemical Society.
Dr. Lee has been director and co-founder of the CSI (Career in Science) at Iona and coordinator of Undergraduate Research Day/Iona Scholars Day, Teaching Circles Program for faculty, the Patrick Martin Scholars Program, and CSTEP (Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program).
“Dr. Lee serves as a model faculty member who blends excellent teaching with original research and provides her students with the opportunity to collaborate with her on significant projects in her lab,” said Michael Marsden, Ph.D., Iona’s acting provost and senior vice president for academic affairs.
Iona College is beginning a fundraising effort to, among other things, increase the number of fully endowed professorships to at least 10 during the Iona Forever comprehensive campaign.
"Supporting our professors and their work is vital for the sustained excellence of Iona College — and a strong, engaged faculty is a key contributing factor in recruiting promising students and producing superior graduates,” said James P. Hynes ’69, ’01H, chairman of Iona’s Board of Trustees. “Great facilities and traditions are important, but at the end of the day, an outstanding faculty is Iona’s future.”