2017 Hershberger Award

Rachel PolakRachel Polak (Biochemistry major with Spanish/Molecular Biology minors) was awarded the 2017 James Hershberger Memorial Undergraduate Research Award. The Hershberger award is given to a major who conducted undergraduate research and is named in honor of James W. Hershberger.

Jim Hershberger earned his BS degree from the University of New Mexico in 1976 and his PhD from Iowa State University in 1981. He joined the faculty at Miami University in 1984 and taught here until his unexpected death in 2011. Dr. Hershberger taught general and organic chemistry, supervised undergraduate and graduate students in organometallic research, and encouraged high school students in the Cincinnati Academy of Mathematics and Science-Hughes Scholars program. He led a collaborative research program between Miami University and the AVISTA OIL Group that resulted in an oil recycling process implemented in Denmark, Germany, and Saudi Arabia. He relished professional, community, and musical endeavors: he served as a member and chair and trustee of the American Chemical Society Cincinnati Section, board member for the Environmental Mobile Unit, and treasurer of the Oxford Kiwanis Club, and was organist and member of the Faith Lutheran Choir, and a member of the Hamilton-Fairfield Symphony Chorale. He enjoyed bicycling, the perfect sport for the gentle hills and valleys of southwest Ohio and eastern Indiana.