Greensburg chemistry’s Stauffer was a student and research mentor

Mark T. Stauffer, a 20-year associate professor of chemistry at Pitt–Greensburg, died on Jan. 3, 2021. A memorial from his department called him “a passionate, brilliant instructor who was dedicated to his students’ success.”

Stauffer was a research mentor to dozens of students — “an outstanding advisor,” recalled Matthew R. Luderer, Stauffer’s departmental faculty colleague since 2004. Stauffer conducted his own environmental research involving the analysis of heavy metal concentrates in water and soil, particularly due to acid mine drainage, focusing on the Sewickley Creek Watershed Project.

“He was very instrumental in helping me out and showing me where to go” when Luderer first arrived, he said. “He was a great colleague and really easy to work with.” He also credits Stauffer with writing the proposal that created Greensburg’s chemistry major in 2007.

Recalled Jordan Boothe, another faculty member who worked alongside Stauffer: “He was a close mentor and was helping me get situated as the faculty advisor for Gamma Sigma Epsilon–Rho Theta chapter (our national chemistry honor society on campus) as well as helping navigate teaching over the last few years.”

“And he liked to incorporate his cats into his lectures any way he could,” even in his PowerPoint presentations, Luderer said. “He was well-liked by the students.”

Born March 12, 1957, Stauffer earned his bachelor’s and doctorate degrees from Pitt, and between them worked at Shippensburg University, University of Wisconsin–Madison, the Ethyl Corporation in Baton Rouge, La., and Carnegie Mellon University’s Outreach Program before joining the Pitt–Greensburg faculty in 2001. He worked with the International Forum on Process Analytical Chemistry and had several chemistry textbooks in progress.

He is survived by his wife, Resa; four sisters, Shirley Lodes, Grace Tamburlin, Mary Ann Maholtz and Judy Stebich; and many nieces and nephews.

Memorial gifts are suggested to the Sewickley Creek Watershed Association, PO Box 323, Youngwood, PA, 15697-0323.

— Marty Levine