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Periodic Table focus of PBK Visiting Scholar Lecture at USD

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The University of South Dakota will host professor and author John E. Straub, Ph.D., for the 2011 Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Lecture at 7 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 7 at Room 118, Churchill-Haines.

Straub’s lecture, “A Lively Tour of the Periodic Table,” will explore the diverse properties of the chemical elements through the use of historical accounts and chemical reactions. Additionally, the lecture and demonstration, open to the public, will also answer questions such as “what is the single most important statement of scientific knowledge? Or how were the chemical elements isolated from ancient times until the present day?”

Straub joined the department of chemistry at Boston University in 1990 where he is currently professor and chair. He is a recipient of the university’s Gitner and Metcalf Awards, both for excellence in teaching. His research focuses on the development and use of mathematical and computational models to uncover the principles governing the fundamental processes of energy transfer, signaling, folding, misfolding, and aggregation that underlie protein function. He served as chair of the Theoretical Chemistry Subdivision of the American Chemical Society and as president of the Telluride Science Research Center, as well as on advisory panels to the Pinhead Institute, the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. More information is available at

A photo of Straub is also available for download at

The South Dakota Alpha Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa at The University of South Dakota was chartered in 1926 and is the only chapter of Phi Beta Kappa in the public and private universities and colleges of South Dakota. The Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Lecture is sponsored by Alpha Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of Biology, and the Department of Chemistry.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 78 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.

This material is available in an alternate format upon request. Please contact University Relations at 605-677-5759. If you are a person with a disability and need a special accommodation to fully participate in any university activity or event, please contact Disability Services at 605-677-6389 as soon as possible, but no later than 48 hours before the event, so that appropriate arrangements may be made.


Hanna DeLange
USD News