Dr. S. Michael Condren

Title: Professor Emeritus of Chemistry.
e-mail:  mcondren@cbu.edu

Courses regularly taught: CHEM 115 and 115L General Chemistry and lab; CHEM 214 and 214L Quantitative Analysis and lab; CHEM 415 and 415L Analytical Chemistry and lab; and CHEM 422 and 422L Inorganic Chemistry and lab.

Length of service at CBU: Prof. Condren taught as a full time faculty member at CBU from 1981 to 2009.

Formal Education: Prof. Condren earned his B.S. in chemistry from the University of Arkansas. His M.S. and Ph.D. were both earned at the University of Missouri-Rolla.

Sabbaticals: Fall 1988, University of Arkansas with A.W.Cordes and Bill Durham; 1998-99, University of Wisconsin-Madison with Arthur B. Ellis; and 2006-2007, University of Wisconsin-Madison with Wendy C. Crone.

Background: He was born in Fort Smith, Arkansas and raised across the Arkansas River in Van Buren where he graduated from high school. Before coming to CBU, he was the chemistry department (chair, faculty, and janitor) at The College of the Ozarks in Clarksville, Arkansas. It was there that he met his wife, the Rev. Jan Condren, an ordained Presbyterian minister in the PC(USA). They recently moved to Tahlequah, OK where Jan is the pastor of the First Presbyterian Church. He came out of retirement during the Fall 2010 semester to teach freshman chemistry lab at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah.

They have two adult children and one grandson. Daughter Virginia and 4-year old grandson Shawn Reason live in Metairie, Louisiana. Son Matt graduated from CBU with degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering and Computer Science in 2009.

Professional interests: Prof. Condren’s research interests are in the areas of Inorganic Chemistry and the Chemistry of Materials. He maintained a long standing collaboration with Prof. David Jeter at Rhodes College and Prof. A. W. Cordes at the University of Arkansas. That research involved the synthesis and characterization of coordination compounds of copper with coordination number of five. This collaboration has provided several students with senior research projects by determining their structures using single crystal x-ray diffraction.

Beginning in the Summer of 1994 through the National Science Foundation (NSF) -sponsored Solid State Research Program, Prof. Condren began collaborating with Professor Art B. Ellis at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. For the academic year 1998-99, Prof. Condren did a sabbatical with Professor Ellis. That led to collaboration with the Interdisciplinary Education Group of the Material Research Science and Engineering Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His work with this group involved the creation of educational materials for teaching the concepts of modern materials. Prof. Condren did another sabbatical at UW in 2006-2007.

This association resulted in many publications and invitations for presentations at scientific meetings throughout the United States. Prof. Condren was invited to speak on "How to teach Chemistry to Engineers" at the 2002 National Meeting of the American Chemical Society in New York and the 2003 National Meeting of the American Institute for Chemical Engineers in San Francisco. Prof. Condren serves as one of the web masters for this National Science Foundation sponsored research group. Prof. Condren’s interest in applications of light emitting diodes has earned him the nickname of “LED man” The picture shows Prof. Condren with a traffic light that uses LED's. Prof. Condren was a presenter at the 6 Engineering Expos at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. and 5 Biennial Conferences on Chemical Education. During their Fall and Spring Breaks, Prof. Condren worked with his colleague Prof. George Lisensky at Beloit College.

For web copies, click on Prof. Condren's curriculum vita and list of publications.

Service: Prof. Condren has been a member of the American Chemical Society since 1965. He served as Chair of the Memphis Local Section of ACS in 2004, and chaired the High School Examinations Committee from 1996 to 2008. He served as the Faculty Advisor for the CBU Chapter of Student Affiliates of the American Chemical Society (SAACS) for over 20 years. Members of the SAACS helped him administer the high school exams to the best chemistry students in the Mid-South. This led to national awards for CBU's SAACS chapter for the several years.

Under his leadership, the Student Affiliates of the American Chemical Society began celebrating National Chemistry Week with demonstrations on campus and in the community. Prof. Condren performed demonstrations whereever he could.

Interests: Besides his interests in chemistry, Prof. Condren is crazy about trains. He was once described in Trains magazine as bowing “to few others on matters Frisco...”, the former St. Louis-San Francisco Railroad, now part of the BNSF. That description resulted from the “Fallin’ Flag” article that he authored for Classic Trains magazine. Since then, he has researched three "Bird's Eye View" features dealing with things Frisco: Central Station Memphis, West Shops Springfield, MO, Aerial views of Frisco Passenger trains. He has also authored a second Fallin' Flag about the Cotton Belt Railraod for Classic Trains.

His photo collection of 50+ years is regularly called upon by editors of railroad magazines and books. In recent years he has turned to more historical research of railroads, publishing the results through the web. Those pages include Memphis Historic Railroad Pages and Ft. Smith/Van Buren Historic Railroad Pages. There is extensive coverage of the Muskogee Roads and the Frisco. However, he continues his interest in anything railroading through his digital photography, presenting it in issues of his Recent Trains web publication.

He is an avid Razorback fan and follows their football and basketball teams. He was also an avid basketball fan of the CBU Buccaneers and attended all home games. In the Spring 2005 semester and 2005-2006 academic year, he served as Faculty Athletic Representative.

This page was designed and is maintained by Mike Condren. If you have materials
that you would like to contribute, contact me at mcondren@cbu.edu