“Bob Fenstermacher wasn’t just a great teacher; he was the reason I came to Drew,” reflects Dr. David McIntyre ’86.  “During my first visit to campus he went out of his way to show me around, talk with me, and follow up with a personal note.  I didn’t get that kind of personal attention at any other school I was looking at.  And that experience continued throughout my studies and work with him, not to mention the annual physics club Christmas taco parties at Bob’s house.”

So, when Bob Fenstermacher announced his retirement in 2010, Dave McIntyre, along with Bill Clark C’91, Da Hsaun Feng C’68, Rick Fuest C’68, P’02, ‘08, and John Ollom, Robert Fisher Oxnam Professor of Science and Society emeritus, Professor of Physics emeritus, quietly got together to endow a fellowship in his honor.  The day they shared this news is one Bob says he will never forget.  “I was astonished.  I had no idea this was happening. It was such a Drew moment!”

This past summer the first Fenstermacher Summer Research Fellowship was awarded to physics major and math minor, Christopher Mascio ’13.  Chris spent six weeks in the Drew Summer Science Institute conducting research on the application of Raman spectroscopy – which uses laser to measure the molecular contents of a substance – to detect water quality, using the pond in Drew Arboretum as a test case.

Like so many others, Chris chose Drew for the small class sizes and close interaction between students and faculty.  “At Drew you can ask a question any time: in class, after class, after hours.  What’s more, you are invited to do hands-on research from day-one as a freshman.”  Chris says he is honored to have received the fellowship named for “Dr. F.” and plans to continue studying physics in graduate school. “Getting this grant makes me feel like all my hard work was worth it and I am on the right path.”

–Barbara Price

Posted in Gateway Messenger