Title: Professor Emeritus, Director (Retired)
Company: Division of Science and Math Education, Michigan State University
Location: East Lansing, Michigan, United States
Clarence H. Suelter, Professor Emeritus and Retired Director of the Division of Science and Math Education at Michigan State University, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Educators for dedication, achievements, and leadership in biochemistry.
Born and raised on a farm in Kansas, Dr. Suelter was always given free rein to explore his interests. His allergies made farming not a great fit, so his father encouraged him to go to college. Dr. Suelter took his advice, and proceeded to earn a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in chemistry from Kansas State University in 1951 and 1953, respectively. During this time, he discovered that he was going to be drafted for the Korean War, so he decided to take advanced ROTC. This led to him being commissioned into the U.S. Air Force. Dr. Suelter was stationed at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, where he was responsible for the development of aircraft sanitation equipment. He realized during his two years in the service that biochemistry was his passion. To enhance his professional standing, he obtained a PhD in biochemistry from Iowa State University in 1959 and completed postdoctoral studies at the University of Minnesota.
Dr. Suelter’s first position in the field was at Michigan State University in 1961, when he became the first person hired for the newly-formed Department of Biochemistry. A couple of years into the program, he was given the Clear Development Award from the National Institutes of Health that covered his salary at Michigan State University for 10 years. Dr. Suelter did more than that; he remained with the school his entire career. He advanced through positions like assistant professor and professor, and ultimately became the director of the Division of Science and Math Education. Dr. Suelter’s unique perspective on Michigan State University led him to write a history of the College of Natural Science and the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology,on two CDs. As a result, he was given the Outstanding Contribution by an Individual Award from Michigan State University’s Faculty Emeritus Association. Dr. Suelter really loved his work, but he eventually retired in 1994, at which point he accepted the distinguished title of professor emeritus. His areas of expertise include biochemistry, enzymology, mechanisms of enzymatic catalysis, phosphate activation mechanisms, science education, comparative enzymology of normal and dystrophic tissue, and monovalent cations in enzymatic catalysis.
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