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Professor

University of Central Oklahoma

Classes Taught

CHEM 1103 - General Chemistry I

CHEM 1223 - General Chemistry II

CHEM 1232 - General Chemistry II Laboratory

CHEM 2621 - Professionalism in Chemistry I

CHEM 4502/L - Directed Research

CHEM 4910 - The Periodic Table Seminar

Office Hours

MWF 9-9:50 a.m.

T, W 2-3 p.m.

Education and Certifications

B. S. Biochemistry - Oklahoma State University

M. S., Ph. D. Analytical Chemistry - University of Oklahoma

Professional and Community Involvement

American Chemical Society (ACS)

Division of Chemical Education

Division Chair-elect, Chair, Immediate past Chair 2017-19

Executive Committee

Finance Committee

Long-Range Planning Committee

Board of Publication

Journal of Chemical Education Editorial Advisory Board

Society Committee on Education (SOCED) - Associate member

Committee on Professional Training (CPT) - Visiting associate

Membership in Division of Professional Relations and Division of History of Chemistry

Oklahoma Section of the ACS

Executive Committee and Public Relations

Teaching Philosophy

Teaching Information Statement

I have been teaching college chemistry courses since 1989, before my students and some of my colleagues were born. Rather than walking in with dusty notes and old slides, I operate on a principle of continuous improvement. Not a semester goes by when I have not made changes in examples, approaches, or ideas. 

While my main job is to teach chemistry, what I believe I do that is most important is helping students learn how to learn. Many students show up to college thinking they know how to be successful in college because they were successful in high school or perhaps in some other venue if they are returning to school after a break to work, serve in the military, play a professional sport, or make music. College success depends on learning how to learn in every course taken. Many different skills need to be acquired and honed, from reading to memorization, to judging one’s own understanding, to skill with one’s hands in laboratory courses. 

College can be relentless during a semester, and most students have to juggle work, school, family and friends, and self care. It’s a volatile mix of freedom and responsibility if you are experiencing a lot of new things for the first time. Come see me if you need help or want to discuss what is going on for you. If my door is open, I am available to listen and offer suggestions. 

What and how I teach

My General Chemistry I and II lecture courses are broken down into manageable units with a repeating pattern of in-class and out-of-class expectations. I utilize team-based learning, in which students earn points for both their individual work and the work of their assigned team. Students are asked to complete four Learning Reflections throughout the semester. These allow the student to consider how they have been preparing for the class assessments and determine what is working well and what can be improved, changed, or discarded. 

I also teach General Chemistry II laboratory. This is the second chemistry laboratory course that many science majors must take, and it’s where a lot of hands-on skills and techniques with instruments and glassware are introduced. Students will utilize these skills in required higher-level laboratory courses. 

One of my favorite courses is Professionalism in Chemistry I, which is required for all chemistry majors. In this course, students learn about the wider world of chemistry, and what it means to be a professional, even as a student. In addition to exploring careers, we take a deeper dive into ethics, scientific literature and safety, prepare resumés and cover letters, explore research and internship opportunities, and practice communication skills. 

The capstone experience for some Chemistry majors is Directed Research. Students pair with a faculty mentor to complete a laboratory research project. Students enrolled in this course make regular presentations about their project to the faculty and other students. I coordinate this course, which involves helping students find a mentor, providing templates for presentations and reports, and ensuring that each students meets all of the required benchmarks. 

Honors and Awards

UCO Dordick Mentoring Award 2017

UCO CETTL 21st Century Pedagogy Institute Most Distinguished Teacher-Scholar 2017

UCO College of Mathematics and Science Vanderford Teaching Award 2015

ACS Fellow 2013

UCO Faculty Enhancement Center Award of Excellence for Teaching 2002

UCO AAUP Distinguished Teaching Award 2001

UCO Neely Award for Excellent in Teaching 1999

Interests

Rock collector and puffin partisan

Amateur musician: clarinet, flute, handbells

The views expressed by UCO faculty and staff on their personal websites and social media pages do not necessarily reflect the positions of the University of Central Oklahoma. UCO faculty and staff are advised to follow the university’s social media guidelines and are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with policies outlined in UCO’s Employee Handbook and/or Faculty Handbook.