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Celebrating 75 years of Vision: Kevin Crist reflects

Courtney Kessler and Peter Shooner | May 4, 2010

Celebrating 75 years of Vision: Kevin Crist reflects

Courtney Kessler and Peter Shooner | May 4, 2010

This is the second in a series of Russ College faculty profiles, in celebration of the Russ College's 75th anniversary (1935-2010.)

Kevin Crist loves coming to work every day.

“I not only enjoy my job, but more importantly, the people I work with and the students I have the privilege of teaching,” says Crist, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering  in the Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ College of Engineering and Technology at Ohio University.

After working in the engineering industry for 10 years, Crist wanted to explore teaching and research. He came to Ohio University in 1994, happy to find a small-town, residential campus where he has taught in two very different colleges, Crist began his faculty career in the College of Health and Human Services and moved to the Russ College after 10 years. He says the move was a better fit.

“I’m able to integrate my research into the classroom, and the support structure for research is more established at the Russ College,” he explained.

His location may have changed, but his teaching philosophy hasn’t.Crist believes that learning is a two-way commitment.

“How much a student gains from the course will be determined by if it’s a joint effort,” he said.

Crist notes that Russ College students are exceptional. “The students are outstanding,” he said. “They are engaging and intelligent, and they are excited about learning.”

Crist has seen changes over his past 16 years at Ohio University, and admires how its priorities never falter, even when faced with challenges like budget cuts.

“The Russ College and the University have maintained their mission of providing an outstanding education while promoting and supporting research,” says Crist, director of the Center for Air Quality, which encourages interdisciplinary applied research and education on air quality.

Crist focuses on the evaluation of air quality, including global-scale air pollution modeling, monitoring, and analysis. More recently, he has focused on the study of carbon emissions.

“A recent high-profile project involved evaluating the impact of Chinese emissions on mercury deposition in the Great Lakes,” he explains.

The Center for Air Quality and the Ohio Coal Research Center are part of the Russ College’s Institute for Sustainable Energy and the Environment (ISEE), whichworking cooperatively with industries and state and federal agencies on air quality and energy concerns.

ISEE is also a part of Consortium of Energy Economics and the Environment (CE3), a program that examines energy production and its environmental and economic effects in the state and nation. The consortium supports research that crosses the boundaries of energy production, economic value, and environmental health, in order to provide practical solutions to regional problems through university outreach, faculty research, and student education and engagement.

Looking ahead 20 years, Crist says he wants to continue to learn, teach and grow his research program. “Every day is a challenge. I’m learning all the time and being challenged not only in the research area but also by the students.”