Bruce M. Mattson, Ph. D.
Bruce Mattson was born in 1951 in St. Paul, Minnesota. He grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Williston, North Dakota, and Marshall, Minnesota. He attended Southwest Minnesota State College (now Southwest Minnesota State University (SMSU)) from 1969 - 1973 where he majored in chemistry and took extensive supporting coursework in English and mathematics.
After graduation from SSU, Mattson pursued graduate studies at the University of Minnesota and completed his Ph. D. (1977) in inorganic chemistry under the direction of Professor Louis Pignolet. Mattson also completed post-doctoral studies in organometallic chemistry at the University of Alberta (Canada) where he worked for Professor W. A. G. Graham.
Mattson joined the chemistry faculty at Creighton University in 1977. He has achieved the rank of professor and has served as chair (1993 - 1999) of the 12-person department. He has supervised thesis research for five M. S. students and undergraduate research for approximately 30 students. Mattson and his students/colleagues have authored over fifty papers in the chemistry literature in inorganic/organometallic chemistry as well as pedagogical contributions.
Mattson has received several prestigious awards including the 1993 Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award In Recognition of Personal and Professional Achievements from Southwest Minnesota State University and the 1995 Visiting Scientist Award given by the Western Connecticut Section of the American Chemical Society. Mattson is the 1997 Recipient of the William F. Kelley, S.J. Creighton Outstanding Service Achievement and the 1998 Recipient of the College's Excellence in Teaching Award.
At Creighton, Mattson has served as coordinator of the General Chemistry program from 1986 - 1995. With a long-standing commitment to protecting the environment, Mattson undertook the task of revamping the general chemistry laboratory program with the goal of making it environmentally responsible. He developed a simple scheme for removing toxic metal ions generated as laboratory wastes. Many of the more toxic chemicals formerly used in the laboratory program were replaced with earth-friendly alternatives. He is the author of Laboratory for General Chemistry; An Environmentally Responsible Manual (Forbes) which is designed to teach decision-making skills regarding chemical disposal as well as general chemical responsibility. Students learn when drain disposal is acceptable - and what to do when it is not.
Mattson has always had an interest in chemical demonstrations and the power of visual learning. For several years he taught a chemistry demonstrations workshop which he developed for high school chemistry teachers. In 1992, Mattson received a four-year grant from the National Science Foundation for $348,000 to expand this program and offer it as part of NSF's Teacher Enhancement program. Mattson has presented aspects of his classroom chemistry demonstration programs at colleges and universities throughout the USA, Russia, England and Canada.
Mattson has a sustained record of research activity in chemistry. He has received four external grants for research activities at Creighton University and three external salary grants to perform research at other institutions. In the latter capacity, Mattson has been a Visiting Professor of Chemistry at Yale University (1986 and 1991). Mattson is currently interested in techniques of microscale gas chemistry and has published two books and a series of 25 articles on the topic in Chem13 News.
In service to Creighton University, Mattson has been a member of a number of university and college committees including Rank and Tenure, Faculty Development, Faculty Grievance, Academic Council/Faculty Caucus, Fringe Benefits, Pre-Health Advising Committee, and the Faculty Senate (formeraly Executive Council) of Creighton College of Arts and Sciences. Mattson serves as a co-coordinator of the Chemistry Field Day. This annual event brings over 200 high school students and their teachers to the Creighton campus for a full day of fun and learning.
Mattson has always been involved in the community. He has often served as a judge for the Greater Nebraska Science Fair held in Nebraska City. He has volunteered time as a Cubmaster of Cub Scout Pack 75, Omaha and as the pack's treasurer. He has served as a coordinator for School Night for Scouting activities for the Fontenelle District of the Boy Scouts Mid-America Council (covering most of the northern half of Omaha including north and west suburbs). He served as an ordained an elder of the Presbyterian Church. He enjoys athletics and has coached YMCA boys' baseball and girls' soccer.
Mattson has long held an interest in Russia. He has traveled to Russia twice to share pedagogical ideas with Russian chemistry teachers. He maintains contacts with several Russian teachers and hopes to return for future visits. Mattson currently studies Russian language at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
Mattson enjoys spending
time with his wife Susan and his two children. He also enjoys reading,
movies, walking around the neighborhood and spending time in the hammock.
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