Cheryl Frech, Ph.D.
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
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
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 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 199
Rock collector and puffin partisan
Amateur musician: clarinet, flute, handbells
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