Couple creates scholarship to honor legacy of longtime chemistry professor

Jay-lin Jane-Topel, MS ’78, and her husband, David Topel, have established a new endowed scholarship to honor the life of a beloved Texas Woman's chemistry professor.

The Dr. James Johnson Scholarship Endowment in Chemistry has been created to honor the memory of the longtime educator. Johnson attended the University of Minnesota for his undergraduate and graduate degrees in chemistry and received his doctoral degree in organic chemistry from the University of Missouri. He taught for more than 40 years in higher education, retiring as professor of organic chemistry at Texas Woman's in May 2019. He passed away July 5, 2019.

Jane-Topel received her Master of Science in Chemistry in 1978 at TWU under the direction of Johnson and, with her husband, is establishing this endowment in honor of the guidance and support she received from Johnson as a student. Jane-Topel went on to earn her PhD in biochemistry from Iowa State University, focusing on carbohydrates. In 1987, she became an assistant professor in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at Iowa State University and later became a Distinguished Professor.

This new scholarship will support full-time undergraduate students enrolled in the chemistry program who have demonstrated financial need. The Texas Woman’s University Foundation is honored to administer this scholarship endowment, which is the second endowment the Topels have created at TWU to assist chemistry students.