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ACS News

Obituary: Melvin D. Joesten

by Nina Notman, special to C&EN
August 8, 2022 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 100, Issue 27


Melvin D. Joesten.
Credit: Courtesy of Joesten family
Melvin D. Joesten

Melvin D. Joesten, 89, died Jan. 17 in Nashville, Tennessee.

“Mel was very supportive of K–12 science education. He gave many workshops for elementary and middle school science teachers and high school chemistry teachers. In 1994, he cofounded Vanderbilt Student Volunteers for Science (VSVS), a service organization of students from all areas of Vanderbilt University. Teams of VSVS members visit classrooms with VSVS kits to give hands-on science lessons. He served as faculty adviser and continued to help with VSVS for many years after he retired. I was blessed to have this kind man for a mentor and role model. He loved his family, music, and chemistry.”—Jamie B. Neidert, Mel’s last PhD student

Most recent title: Professor of chemistry, emeritus, Vanderbilt University

Education: BS, education (chemistry), Northern Illinois University, 1954; MS, chemistry, 1959, and PhD, chemistry, 1962, University of Illinois

Survivors: Wife, Maribel; daughter, Jo Ellen Frick; son, Charles; four grandchildren; five great-grandchildren

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