Alice Hudson’s gift strengthens chemistry program

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[autop] At the end of her freshman year at Iowa State, Alice Hudson landed a job working in a professor’s chemistry laboratory. The valuable experience helped her eventually become a chemist and CEO of a successful chemical company.


Now, Hudson (BS chemistry ‘63) is making it possible for current ISU students to benefit as she did from hands-on research in a faculty lab. She and her husband, Don (BS aerospace engineering, ‘63), recently established the Alice and Donald Hudson Scholarship for Undergraduate Research in Chemistry, which will give promising students opportunities to work as members of ISU research teams.

At Iowa State she worked as an undergraduate research assistant in Professor Orville Chapman’s Gilman Hall laboratory to help pay for college. “I didn’t realize the importance at the time, but after graduating and working, the laboratory experience was incredible,” Hudson said. “I didn’t realize that everybody didn’t get to do that.”

Hudson is president and CEO of Surface Chemists of Florida, a company that does product development and problem solving in technologies involving surface and polymer chemistry. She said as a chemist and businessperson, she understands the value of hiring employees whose educations have been enriched through undergraduate research opportunities.

“It is so vital to understanding chemical principles and creatively contributing to the science,” she said. The Hudson Scholarship will allow more ISU students to “immerse” themselves in the research lab, said William Jenks, professor and chair of chemistry. “The scholarship makes the difference between being a part-time participant and being an integral part of a research group. There is nothing like experiential learning to understand what it means to be a research scientist.”

Hudson, a native of southwest Minnesota, joined Surface Chemists of Florida in 1971 and took over the company in 1984. [/autop]

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