Ken Goldsby was born and grew up in Pensacola, graduating from Bellview Middle School and Escambia High School along the way. He decided to major in Chemistry in the eight grade, but he was assured by his guidance counselors that everyone changes their major at some point. Young Kenny was pretty clueless about how college worked, assuming you applied after graduation from high school, but luckily he visited a friend at Rice University in the fall of his senior year. While there he interviewed on a lark and was fortunate enough to be admitted.
Ken entered Rice as a Chemistry major, but was assured by his advisor that everyone changes their major before graduation. While at Rice, he carried out a research project (then and still the most valuable experience an undergraduate student can have) in Professor Lon Wilson’s laboratory, where he was introduced to the chemistry of ruthenium complexes. Ken graduated in 1978 with a degree in Chemistry (and Mathematical Science) and entered the graduate program in chemistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with the intention of teaching at the college level (still wondering about that inevitable change in major). He was informed by the faculty that while many beginning graduate students plan to teach, most actually end up getting real jobs.
Under the direction of Professor Tom Meyer, Ken’s doctoral work involved the study of light-driven electron transfer in bimetallic complexes, but the most significant chemistry he experienced over those five years was that between him and Nancy Orndorff, a pharmacy student at UNC. Dr. Goldsby graduated from Carolina in 1983 and went to Ohio State University as a post-doctoral associate under Professor Daryle Busch; Nancy joined him there a year later as his wife to finish pharmacy school.
Dr. Goldsby joined the faculty of the FSU Department of Chemistry in 1986. His research involves the redox reactions of transition metal complexes, specifically the use of ruthenium complexes to study proton-coupled electron transfer and surface-modified electrodes. At various times Dr. Goldsby also served as the Director of General Chemistry, Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies in Chemistry, and Director of the University Honors Program, while continuing to teach and work with students in the laboratory (until, of course, he changes his major).
Ken and Nancy have three daughters: Jennifer, Christie, and Lauren.