2019 Monfort Professors Announced at Celebrate! Colorado State
Amber Krummel, an associate professor in the Department of Chemistry who has made significant breakthroughs in the direct visualization of chemical reactions and dynamics, has been named a Monfort Professor.
One of Colorado State University’s highest honors, Monfort Professorships are awarded to faculty who are considered rising stars in their fields. The two-year awards are made possible by the Monfort Family Foundation.
Krummel, who joined the Department of Chemistry in 2010 and was named an associate professor in 2017, is known to her colleagues as a trailblazer in chemistry, especially in the field of spectroscopy, which examines the interaction between matter and light.
Krummel built a high-repetition-rate laser system that could take spectroscopic pictures of molecules 100,000 times a second to help researchers understand how they are moving with time.
“This motion-picture of molecules doing their dance in tiny spatial scales (micrometer arenas) has enabled her ability to see and understand chemical and other phenomena,” University Distinguished Professor A.R. Ravishankara and Professor Grzegorz Szamel said in their nomination letter.
Since then, Krummel has used her tool to answer one of the key open questions in materials science: How are molecules distributed inside a microscopic droplet compared to a large volume, where they are uniformly distributed and not influenced by surface forces?
She and her students used their tool to image chemical dynamics across an ionic liquid microdroplet, showing that the solutes at or near the surface move differently than those located well inside the droplet.
Additionally, Krummel has developed a growing research group that has published in leading chemistry and optics journals. She, herself, has been published in more than 30 peer-reviewed journals, has given more than 40 invited talks and has filed eight provisional patents.
Krummel “has breathed new life into our physical chemistry program and is rapidly establishing herself as a cornerstone of a rising chemistry department,” said Matthew P. Shores, professor and chair of the Department of Chemistry. “Her dedication to our students, her research and our University fits exactly with the criteria desired in Monfort Professors.”
As an instructor, Krummel has taught at both the undergraduate and graduate levels and is regularly sought out by students who wish to work in her lab. She has taught courses ranging from general chemistry to graduate-level specialty seminars. She was awarded the 2016 College of Natural Sciences Early Career Faculty Excellence in Teaching and Mentoring Award.
Krummel plans to use the Monfort resources to support graduate students in a new research effort to investigate the nature of the solid-electrolyte interphase generated in energy storage devices.
“Amber Krummel is clearly worthy of this distinction,” said Janice Nerger, dean of the College of Natural Sciences. “Her high level of scholarly accomplishments, her degree of national and international attention, her excellence in the classroom, dedication to graduate and undergraduate research and her clear success in supporting her research through external funding, places her among the most productive faculty in the college.”
Tim Stasevich, a physicist-turned-biochemist who specializes in single-molecule imaging of critical biological processes, has been named a Monfort Professor, one of Colorado State University’s highest honors for faculty.
An assistant professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Stasevich joined the CSU faculty in 2014 and has since been recognized for his work through numerous awards, grants, media appearances and high-impact publications.
“Tim has surpassed ‘rising star’ status and has now established himself as a true superstar in his field,” wrote a committee of his peers in a nomination letter. “It is an understatement to say that Colorado State University and the [department] are lucky to have him.”
Since coming to CSU, Stasevich has become a respected leader in biochemical imaging. His lab made a significant breakthrough by imaging single-molecule RNA translation dynamics in living cellsusing a custom-built system, which his group published about in Science. Stasevich is also the recipient of a NIH Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award, a Keck Foundation award, a Boettcher Foundation award, and a National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development award.
Stasevich is a physicist by training, holding a B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. in physics, but he became fascinated by cell biology during his graduate work. That next stage of his career was jumpstarted by a National Institutes of Health postdoctoral position with James McNally, where Stasevich developed a passion for understanding transcriptional processes and protein dynamics in living cells. He later was a postdoctoral researcher at Osaka University in Japan with Hiroshi Kimura, where he developed a novel biochemical technique to mark endogenous protein modifications in living cells and designed microscopes to image those modifications.
Just before moving to CSU, Stasevich served as a visiting scholar at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research campus, where he solved a major controversy in the field of epigenetics and published about it in Nature.
Beyond his research program, Stasevich has proven himself a valued mentor and teacher of undergraduate and graduate students. Actively mentoring several Ph.D. and undergraduate students in his lab, he also previously won the CSU Graduate Advising and Mentoring Award. Selected by the Graduate Student Council, that award is based on educational guidance, career development and interpersonal relationship skills.
Stasevich also engages in service and outreach activities by serving as a reviewer for journal papers, serving on committees and supporting students; notably, Stasevich has helped revive the Biochemistry Club and is its faculty adviser.
Said his nominators: ” [Stasevich] embodies all that a Monfort Professor should be – a scholar and research pioneer, a dedicated and talented teacher, and an effective and engaged mentor.”
Made possible through the Monfort Family Foundation, Monfort Professorships are two-year awards that help CSU attract and retain talented young faculty.