Endowed Professor Spotlight: Walter Bowyer – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Endowed Professor Spotlight: Walter Bowyer

Walter Bowyer, the Philip J. Moorad ’28 and Margaret N. Moorad Professor in the Sciences, has taught in the HWS chemistry department faculty since 1988. During that time he has served as chair and taught a range of chemistry courses as well as interdisciplinary subjects exploring frontiers between the sciences, the arts, history and anthropology. Bowyer is also the founder and past director of the HWS Summer Academy, which offers Geneva High School students the opportunity to experience college-level content at the Colleges and establish valuable connections in preparation for their careers in higher education.

“The endowed professorship has been a real vote of confidence from my colleagues and the President that has given me the confidence and flexibility to pursue new teaching strategies and unusual research directions,” Bowyer says.

Bowyer’s research, which explores archaeological chemistry, kinetics, prehistoric art and other topics, has received substantial grants from the National Science Foundation and other leading research institutions, resulting in dozens of professional presentations and publications, often with HWS student co-authors. A three-year, $200,000 grant from the NSF funded a project that explored green alternatives to reduce the environmental impact of pharmaceuticals and plastics production. Over the course of the project, all of the students involved had opportunities to present at a national meeting or conference, with more than a dozen students co-authoring research papers, resulting in four published articles.

Bowyer has advised students who have gone on to win the Marshall Scholarship and earn honorable mention for the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship. During his tenure, Bowyer has chaired the chemistry department and helped lead abroad programs in the Bahamas, Rome, Ecuador and Peru. He holds a B.A. from Johnson State University, an M.S. from the University of Virginia and Ph.D. from the University of Vermont. He completed his postdoctoral work at the University of Delaware and University of Bordeaux.