Texas Tech University

Texas Tech's Carol Korzeniewski Named AAAS Fellow

Doug Hensley

January 31, 2023

Carol Korzeniewski

The chemistry professor was elected to membership in the prestigious science organization.

Carol Korzeniewski, a professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Texas Tech University, has been elected a fellow in the prestigious American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the organization announced today (Jan. 31).

Korzeniewski, who has been at Texas Tech since 1995, teaches in the College of Arts & Sciences. She was recognized for “distinguished innovations in the field of chemical analysis that broadly impacts advances in physical and life sciences, especially pertaining to liquid-solid interfaces related to energy and electrocatalysis,” according to the AAAS.

“The recognition is a tremendous honor,” she said. “It acknowledges contributions to a discipline over an extended period of time. I am grateful to my department and Texas Tech for their support over the years.”

The AAAS membership represents a who's who of science and traces its roots to 1848. It is the world's largest multidisciplinary scientific society and a leading publisher of research through its Science family of journals, according to the organization's website.

“For nearly three decades, Dr. Korzeniewski has served her department and college by providing her expertise and knowledge in chemistry,” Tosha Dupras, dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, said. “She is incredibly deserving of this appointment, and it acknowledges the impact she has made in her field of study.”

The association's process of electing fellows began in 1874, adding members whose “efforts on behalf of the advancement of science, or its applications, are scientifically or socially distinguished.”

This honor is meaningful to Korzeniewski, who recalled how the organization played a part in her early formation as a chemist.

“When I was an undergraduate student, I did research with a biochemistry lab, and my adviser was, I'm sure, a member of the AAAS,” she said. “He was a dedicated reader of Science magazine, and that's how I was introduced to the publication and the AAAS. 

It was through undergraduate research that she decided she wanted to study in the area of chemical analysis.

“I worked on a measurement-focused project, and the paper reporting our results published around 1983 continues to be cited,” she said. “It was a project that I could manage, and I was able to draft the paper and attend my first national scientific meeting and present the work. It was really a foundational experience and formed a springboard for everything that has come after.”

Korzeniewski's principal research interests include electrochemistry, surface catalysis and materials chemistry. Her laboratory applies leading chemical measurement techniques to aid advances in materials for energy conversion and storage technologies. 

“I have always had an interest in science, going back to my earliest days in school,” she said.

Now, Texas Tech students are direct beneficiaries of her knowledge in the classroom. 

“On one level, it's being able to empower students at an early stage and taking classes to see the point of this homework, this textbook-level learning,” she said. “With the experience I have as a chemist, working for many years in the discipline, I can see those practical applications. I can see where working hard to understand where a particular mathematical manipulation might boil a theoretical concept down to some simple relationship to be applied in a practical way to solve an impactful problem.”