College of Natural Sciences Faculty Spotlight Jan '24: Ty Redd

Posted: January 31, 2024 | Author: College of Natural Sciences | Read Time: 3 minutes

The name Dr. J. Ty Redd is virtually synonymous with that of the Walter Maxwell Gibson College of Natural Sciences. Having been at the university as a faculty member for over thirty years, Dr. Redd is also an alumnus of the institution, having received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry before pursuing graduate work, also in chemistry, at Brigham Young University.

Ty Redd

Ty is known for his development of an unrivaled organic chemistry program here at Southern Utah University. This is a difficult course wherever it is taught, and it serves as a gatekeeper course for students wishing to pursue graduate or professional studies. The SUU program is known nationally for its commitment to creating a challenging but supportive environment in which students can master not only organic chemistry, but also learn to be critical thinkers and creative problem solvers. Hundreds of Ty’s former students are now practicing healthcare professionals, scientists, and university faculty members - a testament to his many years of careful mentorship.

Dr. Redd hails from southeastern Utah and came to SUU after completing an associate’s degree from what was then the College of Eastern Utah. Ty was a non-traditional student and was originally on a music scholarship after a stint as a professional musician. However, mentorship by caring faculty in the College of Natural Sciences eventually led Ty to pursue chemistry. Knowing the challenges associated with coming from a small, rural community, Dr. Redd has been particularly attuned to helping students from similar backgrounds also achieve their goals.

Our current dean of the college, Dr. William (Bill) Heyborne, was a student of Ty’s back in the 1990’s. When asked about his experience in Ty’s class, Dean Heyborne remarked, “Ty was a demanding professor and was notoriously cantankerous. However, I never once doubted Ty’s commitment to me or to my goals. I knew without a doubt that he had my back and would do everything in his power to help me succeed. That tough organic chemistry class paid dividends as I eventually ended up doing venom biochemistry as part of my doctoral research.”

In addition to his long-standing work with students in the classroom, Ty founded the SUU Water Lab, which completes certified water testing for Cedar City and surrounding communities while also giving students real-world analytical experience. Ty has also maintained an active research program over the years, supporting dozens of undergraduate scholars who have completed scientific investigations under his tutelage.

For many years, Ty served as chairperson of the department of Physical Sciences within the college. He is now nearing retirement, but his legacy and positive impact will live on here at SUU and in the college for years to come. Many of SUU’s current organic chemists are Ty’s former students, and hundreds of professionals working across the nation attribute at least a portion of their successes to Ty and his courses and mentorship. An endowed scholarship has been created in Ty’s name by several of his former students. These scholarship contributions will live in perpetuity within the college to support future SUU students under the name and vision of Dr. J. Ty Redd. If you would like to join in contributing to this scholarship, please use the link provided below to connect with University Advancement to donate in your beloved organic chemistry professor’s name.

Tags: College of Natural Sciences Faculty Chemistry