Carnegie Mellon University

2018 Gelfand Award Recipient

Rosemary FrolliniRosemary Frollini

Associate Director, Colloids, Polymers and Surfaces Program, Chemical Engineering (Retired)

Rosemary Frollini joined Carnegie Mellon University in 1977 as a faculty member in the Department of Chemical Engineering.  She was tasked with developing the laboratory curriculum for a new undergraduate option (now a minor) in Colloids, Polymers and Surfaces (CPS) that would mirror its master’s program. In addition to teaching undergraduate and graduate CPS laboratory courses, she also served as associate director of the CPS program and as laboratory manager of the CPS laboratories. Since the early 1990s, she has been involved in STEM outreach, directing inquiry-based activities to students (and teachers) to spark an interest in science and engineering.

She received her undergraduate and graduate degrees in chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh and was invited to do her graduate research at the Allegheny County Crime Lab. There she developed a protocol for the in-house analysis of gunshot residue by atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Her continued interest in forensic science led to grants from Hewlett Packard and the Society of Analytical Chemists of Pittsburgh to develop K-12 activities with a forensic twist. These activities have been used at many local events including Society of Women Engineers High School Day, the Carnegie Science Click Program and by the PA Department of Education at a professional development program for K-12 science teachers held on CMU's Pittsburgh campus for many years. They are now available to visitors on the Gelfand Center website along with a group of polymer-related activities that can be accessed for classroom use.

Through the years, Rosemary has participated in numerous other outreach programs including Engineering Your Future, Expanding Your Horizons, Moving 4th into Engineering, National Engineering and National Chemistry Weeks at the Carnegie Science Center, PA Governor’s Institute for Physical Science Teachers, Gelfand Summer Science Sampler, ERA Summer Engineering Experience, and has provided content for many others. She also served on the College of Engineering's STEM Outreach Committee and STEM website subcommittee and has developed an activity for the College of Engineering's STEM in a Shoebox project based on one of her forensic units.

Rosemary helped organize the chemical engineering graduate student outreach committee in part to assure a supply of interested volunteers to assist at the many events. She provided training on the proper way to present each demonstration and concept. These student volunteers gained experience in dealing with diverse audiences and learned how to bring science and engineering concepts to the public. As they graduate and start their careers, they carry this interest in STEM outreach with them, extending the reach of her efforts.