Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi

Dr. Jim Silliman

An Outstanding Islander

Outline photo of Dr. Jim Silliman

Science Rocks
Dr. Jim Silliman acknowledges that his research and collaborations with students and faculty at the Island University are the winning combination. The associate professor of chemistry and native of Cleveland, Ohio, came to the Island University in 2001 from the Geological Survey of Canada. In that time, he has reinforced students’ understanding of the importance math plays in science, especially in the areas of chemistry and biology. This year, Silliman was selected as the director for the first Corpus Christi Regional Science Olympiad held in March 2011 at the University, where he organized dozens of student volunteers, faculty and staff who assisted in all areas including grading exams, running activities and events and registration. The Science Olympiad attracted some 170 middle and high school students from the region. In keeping with his goal, Silliman collaborates with mathematics and biology professors to improve the link between math and science courses, and with other learning community professors and instructors to strengthen the first year learning community experience for incoming freshmen. In addition, he serves as a co-principal investigator for the National Science Foundation’s “STEP: Recruitment, Retention and Success in Science” grant and as principal investigator for his Texas Research Development Fund’s “n-Alkane and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Contents of Corals and Sediments from the South Texas Coast” grant. His latest research interest lies in involving undergraduates, and high school and middle school teachers in the area of climate studies and forming partnerships to include art exhibitions focused on this subject. Silliman is the recipient of The Texas A&M University System’s 2010 Teaching Excellence Award, the Coastal Bend Bays Foundation’s Conservation and Environmental Stewardship Award in 2006 and Alpha Epsilon Delta Texas Xi’s Most Unforgettable Professor in the College of Science and Technology in 2004. Silliman, former recruitment committee chair for the Coastal and Marine System Science Ph.D. Program, was also a key player in the Cabeza de Vaca Earthmobile Program. In the photo, Silliman holds a rock and a flask, which represent his favorite subjects of geology and chemistry. He holds degrees in geology, chemistry and marine geology and geochemistry.

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