Gary O. Spessard
A native of Southern California, Gary majored in chemistry at Harvey Mudd College (B.S.) and then went on to do graduate work in organic chemistry at the University of Wisconsin (M.S.) and Wesleyan University (Ph.D.). He worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Alberta under S. Masamune and then at Ohio State with Mel Newman before assuming a teaching position at St. Olaf College, where he taught primarily organic chemistry for 35 years. Sabbaticals took him to the University of Utah and Oregon State, and he taught during summer sessions at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Minnesota, and University of Oregon.
Gary's research in synthesis methods and the chemistry of plant phytoalexins served as a good background for his present interest in green chemistry and its use in the organic teaching laboratory. Many of the experiments he developed employed organometallic catalysts.
Now retired from St. Olaf, Gary and his wife, Carol, live in Sierra Vista, Arizona. In his free time, Gary enjoys golf, bicycle riding, hiking, travel, and Old West reenacting as a member of the Tombstone Vigilantes.
Gary L. Miessler, Professor of Chemistry, St. Olaf College
Born in Independence, Kansas, Gary Miessler received his bachelor's degree in chemistry from the University of Tulsa in 1970. Following employment as an analytical chemist and a tour of duty with the U.S. Army, he resumed his studies at the University of Minnesota, completing a Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry in 1978. He then joined the Chemistry Department at St. Olaf College, where he is now Edolph A. Larson and Truman E. Anderson, Sr. Professor of Chemistry. Awarded a Camille and Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Grant in 1981, he has pursued research on organometallic complexes containing dithiolene ligands and has taught courses in inorganic, organometallic, physical, and general chemistry. With Donald A. Tarr, also of St. Olaf, Gary is coauthor of the widely used textbook Inorganic Chemistry. Gary enjoys spending time with his wife Becky and daughters Rachel and Naomi and is a fan of baseball and big band era music.