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ASU alumnus honors Ted Brown’s memory by endowing a scholarship

School of Molecular Sciences grad salutes his late mentor


Professor Brian Rasley

ASU alumnus Brian Rasley, now an associate professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks in the department of chemistry and biochemistry, has endowed an ASU scholarship in honor of Emeritus Professor Ted Brown.

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February 15, 2019

Professor Brian Rasley (ASU Class of ‘82) remembers clearly a conversation he had with Professor Ted Brown: Rasley told Brown he wasn’t sure how much he had really learned in the course of his undergraduate studies. Brown’s response? “One, you know more than you think you know, and two, don’t expect to win the Nobel Prize and you will probably be OK.” 

Even today the advice is pretty solid.

Rasley took Brown’s inorganic chemistry class as an undergraduate and was impressed with his classroom presence. Eventually, he worked in Brown’s lab as an undergraduate while completing his senior year in college. Working in Brown’s lab was an eye-opening experience.  

“He was a great mentor,” said Rasley. “Getting to work with his grad students planted the idea of eventually going to graduate school.”

Although Rasley had graduated, he stayed in Tempe and worked in Brown’s lab for a summer. They kept in touch over the years and eventually Brown visited Rasley in Alaska, where he is now an associate professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks in the department of chemistry and biochemistry.  

The Ted Brown Memorial Chemistry Scholarship was established in 2018 in honor of Emeritus Professor Ted Brown through an endowment by Rasley. The purpose is to provide scholarship support for undergraduate students enrolled in the School of Molecular Sciences, in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

The scholarship pays tribute to Brown, whose mentorship Rasley credits as a guiding force in his growth as a student and eventually as a professor.

“I decided to start the scholarship for Ted because he was a very positive influence in my personal and academic life,” said Rasley. “He was a great person and a great educator.”

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