Hannah T. Croasdale Award Recipients 2018: Daryl Deford and Hai Qian

The Hannah T. Croasdale Scholar Award is presented to the graduating Ph.D. recipient who best exemplifies the qualities of a scholar. This individual possesses personal qualities of intellectual curiosity, dedication, and commitment to the pursuit of new knowledge, and to teaching. The award honors Professor Hannah T. Croasdale who performed research and taught biology for more than 40 years at Dartmouth. She was the first woman at Dartmouth to achieve the level of full professor.

The 2018 recipients of the Hannah T. Croasdale Award are Daryl Deford of the Department of Math and Hai Qian of the Department of Chemistry.

Daryl Deford possesses an outstanding breadth of intellect and interest in mathematics which is evidenced in his thesis work – a study into the properties of multi-networks. Building on early work in this field, Daryl’s research explores the dynamics of multiple relationships using a new theoretical framework of his own design. Daryl’s mature approach to his work draws on, and then builds upon theoretical models and is then applied to real world phenomena in an organic loop of discovery, learning, and application.

His curiosity and genuine enthusiasm for learning translates naturally into his academic output: his dissertation alone is the source of several papers, and he has authored and co-authored (he is an eager and inveterate collaborator) an additional 7 journal publications, 2 conference proceedings papers, and several papers under or soon to be under review for his work with his advisor Dan Rockmore.

Moreover, Daryl has twice received an honorable mention for a prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. For any graduate student, this is an astounding research record, and especially so for a mathematics scholar for whom even a few publications before graduation would be impressive.

Not only does Daryl stand out for his intellectual curiosity and research achievements, but he also greatly exceeds any expectations as regards the already high teaching standards for the Croasdale Award.

Over the course of their graduate careers all Dartmouth mathematics department graduate students take part in a rigorous teacher training program, culminating in the teaching of at least one class of their own in addition to assisting faculty in teaching assignments. Daryl has a record of teaching evaluations at Dartmouth that are near perfect. His students note his patience and engaging demeanor, and he consistently goes the extra mile to identify and address learning opportunities for his students, and for himself.  His commitment to and excellence in teaching earned him the 2017 Graduate Teaching Award.

It is rare that an individual has the capacity to absorb diverse concepts within the field of mathematics, and translate them equally effectively into avenues of exploration, learning and teaching. Daryl’s approach to research and teaching is driven by a mature sense of self-awareness and real love of mathematics. We could not be prouder to recognize Daryl as a 2018 recipient of the Croasdale Award. Congratulations, Daryl!


Hai Qian came to Dartmouth after completing his MSc at the University of Nankai, China with an already impressive list of achievements including 5 publications and a patent in the field of organic chemistry.

Hai has continued along this successful trajectory in the Chemistry Department at Dartmouth, working with Ivan Aprahamian, and now has over a dozen publications, an additional 2 patents, and has accumulated numerous awards and accolades for teaching and research. His thesis work alone has resulted in 8 publications.

Hai is noted as a gifted experimentalist, with remarkable tenacity and persistence in the pursuit of knowledge. His patient approach has paid off on numerous occasions, most notably in the discovery of a new mechanism which explains variances in emission intensity of fluorescent rotors. Hai worked painstakingly over the course of half a year, partly with a high school intern, to collect the experimental data to validate the mechanism. The results of this work were published in Nature Chemistry, the premier international journal for general chemistry.

Hai’s innate curiosity drives his quest for knowledge. He is recognized as one of the most well-read members of the lab and he is often the go-to person for news on current literature spanning a range of fields and topics in chemistry. This intellectual breadth of knowledge has proved to be a great boon to the program at Dartmouth, and to those fortunate to have him as their mentor. In addition to his work with the high school intern through the ACS SEED program, Hai has proved a valuable resource in the lab for the undergraduate community through his involvement in the Women in Science Project, and the REU and DAAD programs. In recognition of his research and teaching efforts, Hai selected by the Chemistry Department for the Walter H. Stockmayer Chemistry Graduate Fellowship.

Hai’s work has also received international recognition and was recently awarded the Foresight Institute Distinguished Student Award for his contribution to the field of molecular machines, outcompeting more than 100 international applicants to win this recognition.

He is an exceptionally talented academic who truly exemplifies the personal qualities of intellectual curiosity, dedication, and commitment to the pursuit of new knowledge, as well as a sense of social responsibility to the community of scholars and we are proud to recognize Hai as a 2018 recipient of the Croasdale Award. Congratulations, Hai!