Mickey Sarquis

2008 Helen M. Free Award Winner

Mickey Sarquis, Director of the Center for Chemistry Education at Miami University Middletown, is the 2008 Helen M. Free Award for Public Outreach recipient. Sarquis is committed and dedicated to chemical education and outreach that has made chemistry accessible to a variety of audiences across the country and across generations. Ms. Sarquis received her M. S. from Texas A&M University in 1973.

Sarquis directs Miami University’s Center for Chemistry Education, which is nationally and internationally recognized for its efforts to enhance science education by engaging teachers and students in active learning. These programs have reached more than 19,500 kindergarten through college educators nationally through credit courses and numerous others through non-credit outreach efforts. With mottos such as “When you capture a teacher, you capture a generation,” her efforts have dramatically impacted chemistry education. Sarquis’ research interests include increasing scientific literacy; stimulating interest and increasing understanding in science education in order to prepare a quality workforce; and creating wise consumers, responsible citizens, and informed voters through quality science education.

Through her research in chemistry education, Sarquis and her graduate students have developed a research-based protocol for providing teachers with the science content knowledge, experience, confidence, and support they need to bring quality science instruction to their classes. This award-winning protocol has become a national template for teacher professional development programs. In addition, Sarquis and her team have created a continuous quality control protocol for developing and publishing high-quality instructional materials. Additional areas of Sarquis’ research include developing inquiry based labs for college-level general chemistry courses, chemical technology education, technology conversion of face-to-face courses into web-based distributive learning courses, and various visualization techniques to improve conceptual understanding.

Sarquis has been awarded regional and national awards for her achievements as a chemist and an educator. She has also been awarded more than $15 million in grant funds from state, federal, and industrial sources.