Jamie Manson Memorial To Be Held June 24 In Hargreaves Hall

Considered a standout researcher who was nationally recognized

June 11, 2023

Jamie Manson, PhD, an Eastern Washington University chemistry professor and EWU alumnus, passed away on Wednesday, June 7, after a long battle with cancer. He was 53.

His family invites others to join them for a memorial service at 11 a.m., Saturday, June 24, in the Hargreaves Reading Room (2nd floor). There will be a Zoom option for those not able to attend in person.

Manson received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 1994. Even then, he was a standout chemist, receiving the department’s Outstanding Senior award. After earning his PhD in Chemistry at the University of Utah in 1999, Manson went on to hold two prestigious post-doctoral positions at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Argonne National Laboratory.

Manson returned to EWU in 2003 where he primarily taught General Chemistry and Inorganic Chemistry.  Here, Manson conducted research on molecular magnets where the goal of the research was to understand the origin of quantum phenomena in technologically useful materials, with an eye toward development of new types of magnets and superconductors. His research was recognized nationally, both in terms of grant funding and publications.  Manson received almost two million dollars in funding for his research, including projects that were consecutively funded by the prestigious National Science Foundation. His work resulted in nearly 100 publications in many top-tier scientific journals.

Manson was admired by both his colleagues and students. Professor Tony Masiello, a colleague in the chemistry/biochemistry department, noted that “Jamie was one of those rare individuals that could excel at both teaching and research.  In the same conversation he could be telling me about his cutting-edge scientific projects, then transition to discussing teaching strategies for introductory chemistry courses.”

Cecelia Villa ’15, a former research student, commented that “’Dr. M’ was a very patient and an available mentor. He always listened to his student when they were having problem with concepts. His door was always open. He created opportunities for his students that allowed them to grow and to further their career.”

Manson mentored more than 120 research students, many of whom went on to earn doctorates themselves. He received numerous awards while at Eastern, including the Distinguished Alumnus award as well as the Trustee’s Medal, Eastern’s highest form of recognition for faculty achievement. In 2021, Manson was chosen as a fellow for the American Physical Society (APS), an honor bestowed on only 0.5 percent of APS members. Of the 155 APS fellows chosen worldwide that year, only 4 individuals received this award from non-R1 universities (those at the forefront of research and innovation).

Manson leaves behind his wife Tammie, two children, Josh and Zach, and three grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be made to the EWU Chemistry/Biochemistry Department fund, which can be found at Funds – Eastern Washington University (ewu.edu).  Ensure that you select “In memory of someone,” and enter ‘Jamie Manson’ on the popup page that appears once you have entered a dollar amount and clicked on the checkmark.