The Nell Mondy lecture series, coordinated by Ouachita Baptist University’s J.D. Patterson School of Natural Sciences, will host Dr. Mary Virginia Orna, professor of chemistry at the College of New Rochelle in New York. Orna will present “Five Thousand Years of Chemistry: A Look at the Secrets of Ancient and Medieval Artists” Monday, Sept. 27, at 7:30 p.m. in the Mabee Fine Arts Center’s McBeth Recital Hall. The lecture is free and open to the public.
While the Nell Mondy lecture series primarily focuses on science, “students of all majors can benefit from this lecture,” said Dr. Joe Jeffers, dean of the J.D. Patterson School of Natural Sciences. “Since this is a liberal arts college, students want to know how the world works, and looking at art through chemistry is part of that.”
Orna will be on Ouachita’s campus for three days delivering lectures to various classes. At 9 and 10 a.m. Monday, Sept. 27, in Jones Science Center (JSC) room 325 and at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 29, in JSC 334, she will present “Case Histories in Drug Discovery: Defeating and Controlling Disease.” At 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 28, in JSC 234, she will present “Contributions of Analytical Chemistry to Art and Art History.” These two lectures are primarily aimed at science students. Orna will also present “The Distaff Side of Scientists” Tuesday, Sept. 28, at 4 p.m. in JSC 334 and “Uncovering the Secrets of Medieval Artists through Chemistry” Monday, Sept. 27, at 12 noon in the Evans Student Center Banquet Rooms; Tuesday, Sept. 28, at 1 p.m. in Moses Provine room 203; and Wednesday, Sept. 29, at 9 a.m. in Young Auditorium. These two lectures are more geared to general audiences.
Orna a specialist in the field of color and archaeological chemistry, serves as editor-at-large of “Chemical Heritage” magazine and is active in several divisions of the American Chemical Society (ACS). She has authored numerous articles, books and encyclopedia entries and has received such awards as the ACS Volunteer Service Award, the ACS Henry Hill Award, the ACS George C. Pimentel Award in Chemical Education, the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) New York State Professor of the Year and National Gold Medalist Award and the Merck Innovation Award.
Orna is currently serving as president of “ChemSource, Inc.,” an effort in chemistry teacher preparation and enhancement funded by the National Science Foundation. She has been a Fulbright Fellow and was named a Fellow of ACS in 2010. She received her Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from Fordham University and her undergraduate degree at Chestnut Hill College. She has studied internationally in such settings as the Middle East and Italy.
The Nell Mondy Lecture Series Endowment was established at Ouachita in 1991 by Ouachita alumna Dr. Nell Mondy. Mondy served as professor emerita of nutritional sciences, food science and toxicology at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. The lecture series focuses on the fields of chemistry, food science and nutrition. Guest lecturers are outstanding scholars who have achieved national prominence in their fields.
For more information about the Nell Mondy lecture, contact Dr. Joe Jeffers at email@example.com.
By Breanne Goodrum