Alumna/Chemistry Teacher Awarded for Teaching Excellence

Donna Carter ’98 not only teaches chemistry at East Greenwich High School, she teaches an elective course in forensics, which includes crime scene investigation, finger printing, blood analysis and ballistics.

Recently Carter was awarded the 2014 Benjamin Peterson Award for Excellence in Teaching Secondary School Chemistry by the Rhode Island Section of the American Chemical Society (RIACS).

“I love analytical chemistry,” she said, “and I’m fortunate to work in a district where parents are supportive. Because the parents value education, their children do as well, which makes my job easier.”

After graduating, she took a position as an eighth-grade science teacher at the Archie R. Cole Middle School in East Greenwich for five years. She enjoyed teaching so much that she moved on to the high school.

At the May meeting of RIACS, Carter was officially presented with the Benjamin Peterson Award by alumna Kathleen Siok ’71, chair of RIACS and RIC adjunct faculty member in the Department of Physical Sciences.

The award was named after another RIC alumnus – the late Benjamin Peterson ’36, M.A. ’98, who also had a distinguished career as a science educator in Rhode Island.

Peterson taught chemistry and physics at Central Junior High School and East Providence High School. He was co-author of a high school chemistry textbook and served as department chair at East Providence High until his retirement in 1978. From 1980-89 he was adjunct instructor of chemistry at RIC. And in his later years, he returned to RIC to earn an M.A. in chemistry at the age of 83.

The American Chemical Society (ACS) supports scientific inquiry in the field of chemistry. It is the world’s largest scientific society and one of the leading sources of authoritative scientific information. ACS also offers teacher training to support the professional development of science teachers so they can better present chemistry in the classroom, foster the scientific curiosity of our nation’s youth and encourage future generations to pursue scientific careers.