“Signal-to-Noise,” which is free and open to the public, will focus on how a fundamental concept from analytical chemistry applies to public policy issues in higher education. It is the 21st Estee Lecture, named in honor of Charles Estee, Ph.D., who served the USD Chemistry Department for 50 years. Estee was chair of the USD Chemistry Department when Engstrom accepted his first academic position at the University of South Dakota.

Before becoming the University of Montana’s 17th president in 2010 after serving three years as provost, Engstrom spent 29 years at USD as provost and vice president of academic affairs, vice president for research and dean of the graduate school, and as professor and chair of chemistry. Throughout his career, Engstrom has been an enthusiastic participant in undergraduate research – first as a student, then as a mentor. As an administrator, he has worked to develop undergraduate research programs, including serving as president of the Council on Undergraduate Research and with the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, a federal program designed to help states build their research infrastructure and competitiveness. Engstrom grew up in Nebraska and received his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and his Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. A photo of Engstrom is available for download at www.usd.edu/press/news/images/releases/Royce_Engstrom.jpg.

Established in 1991, The Estee Lecture is named in honor of Charles Remington Estee, a gentleman and scholar who served the department of chemistry, USD and the State of South Dakota since 1947. Estee, who died Aug. 14, 2012, inspired generations of students and motivated his colleagues to attain new heights. He served as chair of the chemistry department for 32 years and brought a sense of mission in science education. He organized and taught years of summer institutes for high school teachers and continued his contributions to the University as a Distinguished Professor Emeritus until his death.

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