W. Robert Midden, a faculty member in the BGSU Chemistry Department,
earned a PhD in biochemistry from the Ohio State University in 1978, and
began his career in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at
Johns Hopkins University where he helped start a new PhD program in
Environmental Chemistry. He came to BGSU in 1987 to join a team building
the new PhD program in photochemical sciences and establishing BGSU as a
national leader in photochemical sciences research. Since then his
research interests have shifted from bioorganic photochemistry to finding
ways to reform education at all levels. The recipient of more than $18
million in grants from federal and state agencies and private foundations,
he has led multiple intercollegiate teams in efforts to improve K-12 as
well as undergraduate and graduate instruction in the sciences,
technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
As director of the Chapman Community, the first comprehensive residential
learning community at BGSU, Dr. Midden was a driving force in developing
alternative learning experiences and actively engaging students with
projects serving the surrounding communities. He spearheaded an initiative
to integrate service learning into the undergraduate curriculum and to
document the many ways in which faculty create such opportunities for
Dr. Midden is now the Director of the Northwest Ohio Center for Excellence
in STEM Education (NWO) with the mission of advancing STEM education for
people of all ages. NWO serves the 29 counties of the northwest quadrant
of Ohio and involves partnerships with most of the higher education
institutions, many K-12 school districts, as well as numerous businesses
and non-profit organizations throughout the region. NWO provides a variety
of services to the region including K-12 and college faculty professional
development, hosting annual symposia and student STEM competitions,
administering multiple STEM college student scholarship programs,
fostering the development of a new Learning Sciences doctoral program, and
sponsoring other events aimed at promoting interest and success in STEM
In addition to his work as NWO Director, Dr. Midden leads a scientific
research project investigating major issues threatening the environmental
integrity and economic vitality of Lake Erie and other Ohio lakes, rivers,
and streams. This project has involved more than 40 undergraduate and
graduate students over the last five years and involves collaboration with
several government agencies and scientists from throughout the region in
addressing one of the most pressing environmental issues in Ohio..
Partin, M. L.; Haney, J. J.; Worch, E. A.; Underwood, E.; Nurnberger-Haag,
J.; Scheuermann, A.; Midden, W. R. M. "Yes I Can: The Contributions of
Motivation and Attitudes on Course Performance among Biology Non-majors."
Journal of College Science Teaching 40: 86-95.
Bendinskas, K.G.; Harsh, A.; Wilson, R.M.; Midden, W.R.:
"Sequence-Specific Photodamage of DNA by an Oligonucleotide-Dihydrodioxin
Conjugate," Bioconjugate Chemistry, 9(5): 555-563 (1998).
Midden, W.R.: "Rounding Numbers: Why the "New System" Doesn't Work" J.
Chem. Ed., 74(4): 405 (1997).
Midden, W.R.; Dahl, T.A.: "Biological Inactivation by Singlet Oxygen:
Distinguishing 1ï„ï§ï€ from 1ï“" Biochim. Biophys. Acta, 1117: 216-222 (1992).