Campus News

Jesse Rowsell Memorial Symposium April 4

March 30, 2015

Communications Staff

Jesse Rowsell
Photo credit: Rebecca Whelan

A symposium will be held in memory of Jesse Rowsell, assistant professor of chemistry, from 1:30 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 4, in Wright 201. It will be followed by a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Science Center Commons and a social from 9 p.m. to close (midnight) in the downstairs of the Feve.

The symposium will be moderated by Matt Elrod, professor of chemistry, and will include talks from Tim Elgren, dean of the college of arts and sciences, and colleagues from Oberlin and other institutions, as well as Rowsell’s student research assistants. Friends and family will speak briefly at the reception following the symposium.

An avid hiker and lover of the outdoors, 37-year-old Rowsell died on a hiking trip near his hometown in northern Ontario on January 30, 2015. He is survived by his wife, Rebecca Whelan, associate professor of chemistry; his sister, Rima Rowsell; and his parents, Shelley Rollins and Murray Rowsell.

Rowsell began teaching at Oberlin as a visiting assistant professor in 2009 and became a tenure-track assistant professor in 2012. He taught materials chemistry and inorganic chemistry and was an expert in the field of metal-organic frameworks.

As a tribute to Rowsell, the college has established a memorial fund that will be awarded to financially deserving and academically outstanding research students. Donations can be made online by indicating that the donation is a memorial gift. For more information on ways to support the fund, contact Catherine Gletherow at

The symposium and its related events are free and open to all community members. Complete details can be found on the Events Calendar.

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