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I am eternally grateful to my wife, best friend, and partner in crime, Rebecca D. Dudley.
While all of my instructors and professors played an important role in directing and defining my scientific career, I would like to call special attention to my high school chemistry teacher, Mr. Tom Di Gaetano, who probably has no idea that I so adored his class since I was always wearing black and crying during those days. Mr. Sherman Henzel (Monroe Community College) is why I pursued my education past my associate’s degree. The MCC Chemistry Club is how I learned to be a good student and kept me on my toes getting those straight A’s. From St. John Fisher College, Profs. Thomas Douglas, Leslie Schwartz, and Dan Piccolo all played distinct but important roles in teaching and mentoring me. I am still amazed that Prof. Andrew M. Rappe (University of Pennsylvania) accepted me into his research group. By pushing me beyond what I thought my scientific limits were, Andrew made sure I was ready for everything I would face professionally after graduate school. My postdoc mentor, Dr. Anne Chaka, taught me a great deal about how to be versatile and how to find connections between theory and experiment. At University of Iowa, I was extremely fortunate to have Prof. Vicki Grassian (now at University of California, San Diego) as a mentor early in my professorship and continue to look up to her as a role model and accomplished scientist. I am also grateful to all of my colleagues and the students in the Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology for helping to advance and extend the research opportunities in my group. Finally, to all of my research and classroom students, for giving me such a sense of purpose. The success of those I’ve had the privilege of teaching and mentoring provides a uniquely exhilarating sense of accomplishment and desire to do all I can to lift others up to toward their dreams.