Outstanding Young Alumni Award
James Grinias ’09 earned a bachelor’s of science in professional chemistry at Eastern Michigan University, and is now a professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Rowan University in Glassboro, NJ.
James’ quick rise in the academic realm as a respected research scientist and outstanding teacher stems from his passion for chemistry, as well as his talent, work ethic and welcoming personality. Following his graduation from Eastern, he earned a doctorate in analytical chemistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and then served as a postdoctoral research fellow and lab manager at the University of Michigan.
At EMU, James was a Presidential Scholar and received an EMU Student Gold Medallion Goodwill Ambassador Award. He served in student government all four years, and was Sigma Nu Fraternity’s National Man of the Year in 2009, an award that goes to just a single person in the U.S. and Canada.
Upon his admission for graduate studies at UNC, he was awarded a Royster Society Graduate Fellowship, a prestigious award given to only 15-20 graduate students of the 2,500 who enroll each year. He was also one of only five recipients of a National Science Foundation Predoctoral Graduate Research Fellowship in analytical chemistry, an extremely competitive national award for which students write research proposals of work they intend to pursue.
James conducted his graduate research in the UNC lab of Dr. James W. Jorgenson, widely considered to be a leading expert in chromatography. At a result of his research at UNC, Jim has already published five papers in top academic journals, two of which were by invitation. He has given at least a dozen presentations at national and international conferences, which took him to Switzerland, the Netherlands and twice to Italy.
Along with his research, James has continued to seek out opportunities to teach, and to be involved with education. He has twice returned to Eastern to sit on the EMU Presidential Scholarship Committee, and has guest lectured here multiple times. He says he was drawn to Rowan University because of its similarity to Eastern, and his desire to be actively involved in the research of his students.