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Mann Chair in the Sciences

The Brother Leonard A. Mann, S.M. Chair in the Sciences recognizes outstanding accomplishments in and contributions to scholarship in the sciences. The position is named in honor of Brother Leonard A. Mann, S. M., former dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and professor of physics. Bro. Mann has been described as a true servant-leader in the Marianist tradition. He tirelessly served his church, his order, his colleagues, and most of all, his students. At the time of his death in 1995, Bro. Mann had served as a Marianist brother for 61 years. Dr. Panagiotis Tsonis of the Department of Biology was the first to serve as Mann Chair.

About Brother Leonard A, Mann, S.M.

Brother Leonard A. Mann, S.M., Ph.D., a native of Cleveland, Ohio, graduated from Mount St. John Preparatory School in 1933 and received his bachelor's degree in education from the University of Dayton in 1936. Brother Mann began his teaching career in 1936 at Chaminade High School in Dayton, and subsequently taught at St. John the Baptist High School in Philadelphia (1937), Chaminade High School in Santa Cruz, California (1937-38), St. Joseph's High School in Alameda, California (1938-39), Mount St. John Preparatory School in Dayton (1939-43); Holy Trinity High School in Sioux City, Iowa (1943-44), Hamilton Catholic in Hamilton, Ohio (1945-47), and North Catholic in Pittsburgh (1952-54). Brother Mann earned a master's degree in physics at The Ohio State University and a doctorate in physics at Carnegie Tech, Pittsburgh, in 1954.

Brother Mann began his association with the University of Dayton as a professor of physics in 1954. He soon became chairperson of the department and shortly thereafter was appointed to serve as the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences in 1959. A gifted teacher, he nevertheless gave strong administrative leadership to the University by building the modern foundation for the College of Arts and Sciences. For more than two decades, Bro. Mann provided the patient hand and steady guidance that built the academic reputation of the College. Under his leadership as dean, Brother Mann was instrumental in helping to form many new academic programs, including a doctoral program in biology, the first Ph.D. program at the University of Dayton. Brother Mann served as dean until 1980 when he retired from administration and returned to teaching, a labor of love characterized by a selfless commitment to students.

In 1991, Brother Mann was honored by the university as a senior retiree. Dr. Michael O'Hare, chairperson of the Department of Physics, described Brother Mann as a true servant-leader in the Marianist tradition. "He served his church, his order, his colleagues, and most of all his students." At the time of his death in 1995, Brother Mann had served as a Marianist brother for 61 years. The Bro. Leonard A. Mann, S.M., Ph.D., Chair in the Sciences was established to recognize his outstanding example of the Marianist spirit and commitment to excellence.

About the Current Chair

Dr. Peter PowersDr. Peter Powers is an associate professor of physics and electro-optics. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1988, and he received his Master of Science and Ph.D. degrees in applied and engineering physics from Cornell University in 1990 and 1995 respectively. From 1995 to 1997 he worked at Sandia National laboratories as a post-doctoral research associate. Dr. Powers' general research interests lie in the field of nonlinear optics and its application to other branches of physics and applied physics. Since coming to the University of Dayton, Dr. Powers has actively published in refereed journals and has presented his research at international conferences. He currently holds five patents. Dr. Powers is a member of the Optical Society of America and the scientific research society, Sigma Xi. He became the Mann Chair in the Sciences in 2010.

View Dr. Powers' faculty profile >>