A passion for students
- B.S. Chemistry: Wheaton College
- Ph.D. Chemistry: University of Michigan
- Post-Doctorate: Nanotechnology, Furman University
- As a kid, I was always interested in science and music. They drove my interest in selecting the college I went to and, obviously, I’m still involved with science. I played the trombone throughout college and a little bit in graduate school. Currently, I play trombone in the UIS Concert Band and I’m learning to play the guitar.
- I have two children, one in middle school and one in high school and we enjoy bike riding together.
- I’m interested in the interface between nanotechnology and the environment. All of my research is done with undergraduate students.
Major projects underway:
- I have two projects at UIS with undergraduate students in the area of nanotechnology. We are producing nanometer sized pores in cobalt oxide for improving the cathode material in lithium ion batteries. In another project, we’re looking at how nanoparticles can reduce nitrate pollution from agricultural runoff. The latter project is being done in collaboration with Dr. Michael Lemke, Director of UIS’ Therkildsen Field Station at Emiquon.
UIS students and the Emiquon project:
- UIS students, undergraduate students as well as graduate students are involved in many different levels of the project. Different faculty here, faculty at other institutions, and scientists with The Nature Conservancy and the state are looking at all levels from water chemistry to the bacteria, birds, fish, plants, history, and anthropology of the site.
- I purposefully design all of my classes with active learning components. I teach freshman chemistry, I teach senior chemistry, I teach courses in between, and I teach a course on science and religion. In all of these courses I have small group activities based around guided inquiry worksheets where students learn the material by working through the material under my guidance.
Advice for prospective students:
- Get to know your faculty–and not just by reading this webpage. You need to introduce yourself after class, go to office hours, etc. That way you can learn how to study for a particular course, and also learn about academic life in general, so that you can get the most out of your college experience.
Best thing about UIS:
- The best thing for all students at UIS is that they have a degree of access to the faculty that, from what I’ve seen, only happens at private colleges. You’re getting a public education with the advantage of a private school.
Best thing about the Chemistry program:
- As a science major an advantage is that you can do undergraduate research. In chemistry it’s actually a requirement and in all of the sciences it’s an opportunity. All of the faculty members have projects that they are interested in and many of them like to involve the students, so if students get to know the faculty, then they can take advantage of those opportunities.