|In lieu of flowers, the family requested that memorial gifts be made for the Chemistry Memorial Fund at Baldwin Wallace University or to St. Adalbert Church in Berea.|
BW Mourns Loss of Chemistry Professor Joseph Gorse
Joseph Gorse, professor and former chair in the Department of Chemistry at Baldwin Wallace University, died March 28 surrounded by family at his home in Columbia Station. Gorse, who joined the BW faculty in 1988, was undergoing treatment for cancer since his diagnosis in Fall 2009. He continued to teach his classes up until the week before his death.
“Joe taught a number of courses at Baldwin Wallace including general chemistry, quantitative analysis and instrumental analysis. He also taught a popular Science and Society course for non-majors,” said James McCargar, professor of chemistry and associate vice president for academic affairs.
“He directed the chemistry seminar program and took great pride in mentoring undergraduate students on research projects, many of whom went on to earn Ph.D. degrees at prestigious graduate programs across the country including Penn State, Stanford, the University of Tennessee and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill,” noted McCargar.
A graduate of Ohio State University, he earned his master’s degree in chemistry at Cleveland State University and doctorate in analytical chemistry at the University of Arizona. He taught at Knox College for three years before coming to BW. He was promoted to associate professor in 1990, tenured in 1993 and promoted to professor in 1998. Gorse served as department chair from 1990 through 1999, and was instrumental in planning the renovation and expansion of science facilities in BW’s new Thomas Family Center for Science and Innovation.
But, colleagues say, his greatest satisfaction came from mentoring students in his classes and through applied undergraduate research. More than 50 BW students were involved in these hands-on opportunities, many of which led to publication or presentation to professional groups.
Beginning in 1993, Gorse—frequently accompanied by his students—began serving as a Summer Faculty Fellow with NASA Lewis Research Center. He received BW’s Gigax Award for Faculty Research in 2006, the same year he was saluted by Ohio Magazine among the state’s Memorable Educators.
An environmentally conscientious citizen, he established the biodiesel laboratory area and worked with student researchers to convert used cooking oil from campus kitchens to biodiesel fuel that was then used to power some of the BW grounds keeping equipment.
He is survived by his wife, Michele, and four children; Joseph of Columbus, Paul, who currently is serving in Afghanistan; Elizabeth and Rose.