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During the 34 years he spent as a Central Faculty member Dr. Robert Zey established a reputation as a master teacher among his colleagues and students. His outstanding record of teaching, scholarly activity and university service was publicly recognized in 1990 when he was named recipient of the Byler Distinguished Faculty Award.
The professor emeritus of chemistry joined the university in 1965 as an assistant professor after working previously as a teaching assistant and research assistant at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He was also employed as a medical research chemist in St. Louis for four years. After arriving at Central, his hard work paid off in the form of a full professorship in 1972.
In addition to outstanding work in the classroom, he contributed to professional organizations such as the American Chemical Society, participated at symposia and continuing education courses, and maintained broad contact with colleagues at other institutions. His strength in research and his enthusiasm for it were also extraordinary, and in 1988 earned him the first Scholarly Activity Award ever presented by the institution. During his tenure, Dr. Zey was a prolific grant writer and initiated the annual chemistry department newsletter and the biennial Chemistry Alumni Day.
He received his bachelor’s degree from Central Methodist College, Fayette, and earned his master’s degree and doctorate from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Dr. Zey and his wife, Janet, have two sons, Kenneth and Robert.