Zachary Schultz named a 2013 Cottrell Scholar


Zachary Schultz, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry, has been named a 2013 Cottrell Scholar. Cottrell Scholar Awards are given to early-career professors who have developed excellent research programs and excellent approaches to undergraduate teaching. Schultz’s award will be effective July 1, 2013.

As a Cottrell Scholar, Schultz will become a member of the Cottrell Scholar Collaborative, a cross-disciplinary group of all Cottrell Scholars who actively develop ideas to improve undergraduate science education at research universities across the country. They work together in groups to find approaches to retain science students and to find innovative approaches to help student learning. The groups present their ideas for new teaching methods at the annual Cottrell Scholars Conference and receive feedback from other attendees. The end goal is to implement the finalized approaches at their individual universities.

Schultz currently teaches two courses at Notre Dame that focus on chemical instrumentation. Instrumental Analysis teaches undergraduates about the advanced instrumentation used to detect and analyze chemical compounds. A key component of this undergraduate course is a term project requiring students to use the state-of-the-art instrumentation available in the university’s research core facilities to answer a scientific question. The goal is to facilitate student interest in modern chemical research. At the graduate level, Schultz teaches Advanced Analytical Chemistry, which focuses the fundamental science underlying chemical measurement to accelerate engagement in graduate level research on the topic. Understanding the basis of chemical measurement enables students to develop new instrumentation and methods to address diverse problems.

The Schultz lab is interested in developing ultra-sensitive imaging and detection methods. They use Raman spectroscopy, a chemically specific laser spectroscopic technique. By combining nanotechnology with Raman spectroscopy, they perform exquisitely sensitive characterization of molecular assemblies relevant to the diagnosis of disease.

Cottrell Scholar Awards are sponsored by the Research Corporation for Science Advancement (RCSA). The RCSA is a foundation that provides funding for innovative science research and the development of academic scientists. Grants such as the Cottrell Scholar Awards are intended for early career faculty who integrate research and science teaching, conduct interdisciplinary research and produce innovative ideas for transformative research.