Maurice M. Bursey, Retired Chemistry Professor at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Educators for dedication, achievements, and leadership in chemistry.
Dr. Bursey chose education, it was not his original goal, but he found out in graduate school that he really enjoyed teaching. He decided that he had the ability to make a career in academics, so he just went ahead and did it. He has told people that when he was done with education the only thing he knew how to do was go to school, so he just kept with it. Dr. Bursey matriculated at Johns Hopkins University, earning a Bachelor of Arts in 1959, a Master of Arts in 1960, and a Doctor of Philosophy in 1963. Staying with his alma mater, he started out lecturing for a year before taking on his profession. In 1964, Dr. Bursey moved on to Purdue University becoming a visiting assistant professor until 1966. From there, he joined The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he would remain until this day. He started out as an assistant professor moving up to associate professor and then professor in 1974. He held that position until he retired in 1996, becoming a professor emeritus.
Dr. Bursey worked on a project that he was assigned in connection with an activity that he proposed to the chairman in chemistry at the time. He believes they were trying to get someone to write the department’s history since the 1940s and they had not gotten very far. Dr. Bursey had access to a lot of pictures and notes that were worked on, so he worked on collecting some information. He took it on and it became a massive project, more than he anticipated it to be, working numerous hours at the library and in the university archives reading. He spent a year writing, another year organizing and seeing the book into production. It took more time than it should, but in terms of professional career it probably was not a wise thing to do, but 100 years from now people will be able to see that book and long after. The book was published in 1982 and was titled, “Carolina Chemist: Sketches from Chapel Hill.” He was also the editor of Mass Spectrometry Revisions from 1990 to 1993.
As a testament to his success, Dr. Bursey was inducted as a member of various esteemed organizations, such as the American Society of Mass Spectrometry and the Royal Society of Chemistry. He was a fellow of the American Institute of Chemists, a council member and a member of the board of directors for the American Chemical Society and the Grand Master Alchemist National President for Alpha Chi Sigma. In 1982, he was named to the Society of Fellows at Johns Hopkins University and received various research grants. He is also listed in numerous editions of Who’s Who in the World, Who’s Who in the South and Southwest, Who’s Who in Science and Engineering, Who’s Who in American Education, and Who’s Who in America.
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