Philadelphia Local Section

American Chemical Society - Philadelphia Local Section


Dr. Marsha I. Lester was elected as an American Chemical Society (ACS) Fellow on the basis of her dedication to science and volunteer work for the American Chemical Society. Marsha received a BA from the Douglass College, Rutgers University (1976) and a PhD from Columbia University (1981). She was a NSF Postdoctoral Fellow, AT&T Bell Laboratories (1981-1982).

Marsha’s professional career began in 1982 when she joined the University of Pennsylvania as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry. In 1988 she was promoted to Associate Professor and in 1992 to full Professor. She was Chair of the Department of Chemistry (2005-2008) and is currently the Edmund J. and Louise Kahn Professor in the Natural Sciences and has held this post since 2003. 

Some of Marsha’s scholastic honors are: Francis P. Garvan-John M. Olin Medal, American Chemical Society (2014); Fellowship in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2008); Distinguished Traveling Lecturer, Division of Laser Science, American Physical Society (2002-2004); Visiting Miller Research Professor, Berkeley (2003); Guggenheim Fellowship (2002-2003); Visiting Lecturer of the Chemistry Research Promotion Center, Taiwan (2000); Lucy W. Pickett Lecturer, Mount Holyoke College (1998); Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (1997); Broida Prize awarded by the International Symposium on Free Radicals; Fellow of the American Physical Society (1993); plus many more.

Some of Marsha’s recent professional activities are: Chair-Elect, Vice-Chair, Chair and Past-Chair Division of Laser Science, American Physical Society (1998-2002); Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee,  Department of Energy (1998-2002); Commission of Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Applications, National Research Council (1996-2001); Physical and Theoretical Chemistry Area Coordinator, Pacifichem sponsored by the American Chemical Society (2000). She has served on the editorial advisory board of Chemical Physics Letters (1997-present), Journal of Physical Chemistry (2005-2009, 1995-2000), Journal of Chemical Physics (2007-2009), and Molecular Physics (1998-2000). Effective January 1, 2009, she became the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Chemical Physics.

The above is just a sampling of various awards and dedicated service to ACS and indicates why Marsha was chosen as one of the 2010 ACS Fellows.