Fascinated by science, even as a little girl, Dr. Angela O. Bedenbaugh is proud to have made her dream of becoming a chemist a reality. She began on the path to her career by earning a Bachelor of Science, cum laude, from the University of Texas in 1961 and a PhD in organic chemistry from the University of South Carolina in 1967. As an undergrad, Dr. Bedenbaugh immediately jumped into the field, serving her school as an instructor of chemistry laboratory from 1960 to 1961. While in graduate school, she joined the staff of the University of Southern Mississippi as a chemistry research associate, and quickly found a home. She remains with the institution to this day as a research associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry, which she has been since 1980. She also held the title of board member of the women’s studies program at the school from 1996 to 1997 and from 2004 to 2007.
Dr. Bedenbaugh’s vast background and experience led her to want to find new ways to advance her field. In addition to her work with the University of Southern Mississippi, she has been a project director of the mathematics and science program at the U.S. Department of Education since 2004. Further, Dr. Bedenbaugh was a co-principal investigator for the Bell South Foundation grant and the director of the NASA website grant, as well as the author of “Nomenplayture” in 1998. She co-authored the “Handbook for High School Chemistry Teachers,” “Teaching First Year Chemistry, 4th Edition,” “Teaching Physical Science, Volumes 1 and 2,” and the program manual for the Mississippi Mathematics and Science Partnership at the University of Southern Mississippi Project, and holds many patents in the industry. Dr. Bedenbaugh also participated in the U.S.-Egypt Education Forum in Cairo in 2007.
As a community-minded person, Dr. Bedenbaugh connected with her peers through participation with a variety of organizations. She has been a member of the administrative board of Parkway Heights United Methodist Church, and the board of directors of Forrest Stone Area Opportunity Inc., along with Habitat for Humanity, the Environmental Defense Action Fund, the National Park Trust, the U.S. Department of Education Mathematics and Science Partnership, and Mothers against Drunk Driving. To this day, she remains active with Toastmasters International and the National Women’s Political Caucus, and is the Mississippi state coordinator for Building a Presence for Science. She maintains affiliation with the National Science Teachers Association, the American Association of University Women, the American Chemical Society, the Mississippi Science Teachers Association, and the Union of Concerned Scientists, among many others.
Dr. Bedenbaugh has been honored with numerous awards in recognition of her accomplishments and achievements in her field. She earned the John and Angela Bedenbaugh Award from the Coastal Mississippi Association of High School Chemistry Teachers, the Mississippi State Achievement Award, the Distinguished Science Teacher Award, and the Chemist of the Year Award. Dr. Bedenbaugh has been featured in numerous editions of Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Education, Who’s Who in Science and Engineering, Who’s Who in the South and Southwest, Who’s Who in the World, and Who’s Who of American Women. Notably, she was also the recipient of several grants at the University of Southern Mississippi, including a research grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation, and the administrative director research grant.