Justin Fermann Named iCons Program Director

Justin Fermann
Justin Fermann

Steve Goodwin, dean of the College of Natural Sciences, has appointed Justin Fermann director of the Integrated Concentration in Science (iCons) program.

Fermann is a senior lecturer in the chemistry department, a position he has held since 1999. He was involved in the initial design and development of the iCons Program in 2009-10 and has been teaching in the iCons 1 course, “Global Challenges, Scientific Solutions” since its inception in spring 2011. The appointment was effective June 1.

Fermann takes over for Scott Auerbach, who founded and launched the program and graduated three classes. Auerbach, professor of chemistry and adjunct professor of chemical engineering, will remain involved with iCons as a senior advisor to Fermann and his team. Auerbach will teach the iCons 2 energy communication course and will also continue to facilitate various iCons-related outreach projects that broaden the impact of iCons.

“I am thrilled to take the reins of the iCons Program, with its potential to transform how we teach science, engineering and beyond,” Fermann says.

“I am delighted that Dr. Fermann will be stepping in as director of iCons,” says Goodwin. “He has been an important part of the iCons team since the program’s inception. A recipient of the university’s Distinguished Teaching Award and the CNS Outstanding Teacher Award, Justin’s deep commitment to students and to innovative education is impressive and much appreciated on campus.”

Fermann holds bachelor’s degrees in chemistry and inphysics, both from Hartwick College, and a Ph.D. in theoretical chemistry from the University of Georgia.

Founded in 2008 through a generous gift and broad vision from alumnus Richard Mahoney, the iCons program has been bringing STEM undergraduates together to work collaboratively on real-world problems since 2011. Its mission is to produce the next generation of leaders in science and technology by giving them the attitudes, knowledge and skills to solve the multi-faceted problems facing the world today.

The program’s corporate sponsors include Waters Corporation, Anika Therapeutics, Zipher Medical Affairs and Boston-Power, Inc. The iCons Program is also supported by grants from the Camille & Henry Dreyfus Foundation and the National Science Foundation.