About the Provost
Bruce Anderson earned his B.A. in Chemistry from McDaniel College and a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the University of Colorado in Boulder. His graduate work was in the applications of laser spectroscopy.
After graduate school, Anderson taught for one year at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine and for six years at Lander University in Greenwood, South Carolina. Anderson arrived at Muhlenberg in 1995 and spent 21 years teaching in the Chemistry Department (including 6 ½ years as Chair) before taking over as Dean of Academic Life in August 2016 and Interim Provost in July 2019. Over the years, Anderson primarily taught Physical Chemistry, but has also taught General Chemistry and Laser Chemistry.
Anderson maintains an active research group involving Muhlenberg students. Two current projects are being studied. The first involves using fluorescence quenching to study the binding of organic pollutants to humic acid which is a substance that occurs naturally in the soil and water. The calculated binding energy is used to predict the bioavailability of various pollutants including antibiotics and nanoparticles. The second project uses a Nd:YAG laser as an energy source to produce a class of molecules called polyynes. Polyynes are molecules that contain linear chains of carbon atoms connected with alternating triple and single bonds. These compounds may have applications in the next generation of computer chips and may be used as molecular wires. The student researchers are working to better understand and control the synthesis of polyynes. The above work has resulted in many student presentations at national meetings and publications in peer-reviewed journals.
Personally, Anderson and his wife, Carrie, have four children. They also have two golden retrievers—Theo and Remi. In his spare time, he can often be found working in the garden, hiking and occasionally playing basketball in the Life Sports Center.