William Coleman


Lieber Memorial Teaching Associate Award (1968)
Indiana University Bloomington
College of Arts and Sciences
Department of Chemistry


William "Flick" Coleman is a 1966 honors graduate of Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida, where he has also served on the Board of Trustees. He received his Ph.D. from Indiana University where he held NSF, NDEA and Woodrow Wilson Fellowships, and was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Arizona in 1970 and a member of the faculty at the University of New Mexico (1970-1982). He was a visiting professor of chemistry at Stanford in 1978-79 and 1988-89. During the 1994-95 and 2001-02 academic years, he was a Visiting Professor of Chemistry at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Coleman is currently a professor of chemistry at Wellesley College, where he has been a member of the faculty since 1982. He has served as Chair of the Wellesley Chemistry Department for the periods 1985-88, 1991-94 and 2004-2007.

A physical-inorganic chemist, Coleman's research interests, for almost forty years, have been directed to areas of molecular spectroscopy and photochemistry with particular emphasis on the applications of lasers to spectroscopic phenomena in complexes of the transition and actinide elements. Recently he has reinvented himself as a computational chemist and has embarked on a research program involving quantum mechanical calculations on medium-sized molecules of chemical, biochemical and environmental interest. He has spent more than twenty years developing and disseminating applications of computers and the Internet in chemical education. He was a co-PI on a large NSF Grant to develop The Journal of Chemical Education Digital Library, and has published more than 150 scholarly papers and presented over 200 talks at professional meetings. His countless web-based publications are used in educational institutions around the world.

Coleman has received a number of teaching awards from Indiana University, the University of New Mexico and Wellesley College. He has been very active in the ACS Division of Chemical Education at the national level, having served three years as Chair of the Program Committee. He has served on the Executive Committee of that body, served on the Task Force on General Chemistry and has been a member of the ACS Council as an elected representative of the Division. He also served three years as Faculty Member and/or Academic Director of the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Institute in Chemistry at Princeton University (1985, '89, '90).