University of Delaware
Hal White will deliver the University of Delaware Library Associates Faculty Lecture, "Dragons and Damsels of Delmarva," on Tuesday, May 15.

May 15: UDLA Faculty Lecture

UDLA announces White to present faculty lecture on 'Dragons and Damsels of Delmarva'


11:13 a.m., April 26, 2012--The University of Delaware Library Associates has announced the 2012 Annual Faculty Lecture, titled “Dragons and Damsels of Delmarva,” to be given by Harold (Hal) White, professor of chemistry and biochemistry and director of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Undergraduate Science Education Program at UD.

The lecture will be held on Tuesday, May 15, at 4:30 p.m., in the Reserve Room of the Morris Library and is open to the public.

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A reception for program attendees will follow also in the Reserve Room after White’s presentation. Interested individuals may request a printed invitation  by calling the Office of the Vice Provost at 302-831-2231 or by sending an email to An online PDF version of the invitation is available by clicking here.

White is widely known throughout Delaware and the mid-Atlantic region as an expert on the dragonflies of the northeastern United States. He will speak about his book, Natural History of Delmarva Dragonflies and Damselflies: Essay of a Lifelong Observer, which was published in 2011 by the University of Delaware Press. The book provides the first comprehensive coverage of the dragonflies and damselflies of the Delmarva Peninsula and includes handsome colored photographs of all 129 species known to occur in the region.

White received a bachelor of science degree in biochemistry from Penn State University and a doctorate in biochemistry from Brandeis University. He joined the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at UD in 1971 after a postdoctoral research fellowship in chemistry at Harvard University. Between 1977 and 1981, he was the recipient of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Research Career Development Award.

White’s research interests have been in the structure, function and evolution of vitamin-binding proteins, particularly riboflavin-binding protein from chicken eggs. He also has strong interests in intermediary metabolism and biochemical evolution. He was one of the early advocates of RNA (ribonucleic acid) enzymes. 

Since the mid 1990s, his interests have focused on undergraduate education. Between 1994 and 1998, he served as principal investigator on the first National Science Foundation/Division of Undergraduate Education (NSF/DUE) grant on problem-based learning (PBL) awarded to UD and he has been involved with subsequent NSF, Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE), and Pew Charitable Trusts grants for PBL. 

White is a member of the Education and Professional Development Committee of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and of the Institute for Transforming Undergraduate Education. He has conducted numerous PBL workshops throughout the United States. 

White serves as an associate editor for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education, where he writes commentaries on PBL. His recent publications relating to PBL deal with the use of the research literature for problems, preparation of peer tutor-facilitators, faculty development and capstone courses.

White received the UD College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Teaching Award in 2005 and its Outstanding Service Award in 2007. Recently he received the 2011 Howard Barrows Award for exceptional undergraduate teaching from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. 

White’s book, Natural History of Delmarva Dragonflies and Damselflies: Essays of a Lifelong Observer, published in 2011 by the University of Delaware Press, will be available for purchase from the University of Delaware Bookstore at the event. White has expressed a willingness to sign copies of his book during the reception.

Acceptances for this program may be sent via email to or by telephone at 302-831-2231.

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