Chemistry Faculty & Staff

Chemistry faculty & staff

Dan Burgard, Jeff Grinstead, Bob Peaslee, Steven Neshyba,
Stacia Rink, Amy Odegard, Holly Jones, Eric Scharrer,
Jeff Root, Jo Crane, Luc Boisvert, John Hanson, Amanda Mifflin,
Mike Hottott, Tim Hoyt (Wiz)

About the Department

The Chemistry Department offers a broad-based curriculum designed to meet the needs of a variety of students, from those taking only one or two chemistry courses in order to broaden their liberal arts background to those majoring in chemistry in preparation for a career in the chemical sciences. The department is approved by the American Chemical Society and offers degrees that are appropriate for students interested in careers in chemistry, medicine, dentistry, engineering, science teaching, or any other area where a scientific background would be valuable. Students are encouraged to consult with members of the department as they plan their undergraduate programs and to discuss career options in the sciences.

The expertise of the chemistry faculty covers all five major chemical sub-disciplines: analytical chemistry, biochemistry, inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, and physical chemistry. In addition to core courses in these major areas, faculty members teach upper-level courses on a variety of special topics including atmospheric chemistry, computational chemistry, materials chemistry, and natural products chemistry. Faculty members are also engaged in a wide range of research projects and all students seeking the BS degree participate in this research and produce a thesis based on their work.

In addition to being introduced to modern chemical knowledge and the role of chemistry in society, students in chemistry courses learn to think analytically and logically. As students move through upper-level courses, they develop the ability to critically assess work in the field and the attitude necessary to cope with the demands of independent inquiry. Students enrolled in chemistry courses also learn how to

  1. rationalize and predict chemical behavior based on chemical principles;
  2. apply laboratory methods to investigate chemical phenomena and synthesize compounds in a safe and environmentally responsible manner;
  3. operate modern analytical instruments and interpret the data obtained from these instruments;
  4. use computers for collection and analysis of chemical data and the modeling and visualization of chemical structures and properties;
  5. communicate effectively in both written and oral forms typical of the chemical literature and professional conferences;
  6. search and use the chemical literature.


Wizard, Tim Hoyt will be taking the big retirement balloon back to Kansas or wherever he is from.  Join retired faculty, current faculty, students and staff, for the retirement party, May 10, 2014, 6:00 - 9:00 p.m., 2nd Floor Harned Hall.



Megan earned a B.A. in chemistry at Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA. At Whitman she completed two undergraduate research projects in toxicology and environmental chemistry. She earned a PhD. in Chemistry at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she studied protein structure and aggregation related to Alzheimer’s disease using ion mobility mass spectrometry.  She is currently a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Service Research Award postdoctoral trainee at Vanderbilt University Medical Center where she uses MALDI imaging mass spectrometry to study biochemical changes to the extracellular matrix in kidney disease. Megan is particularly interested in biological applications of mass spectrometry, as well as the development of new protocols and technology for challenging analytes.  Overall, she is interested in using various mass spectrometry technologies, in combination with other techniques to study molecular structure, biomolecular interactions, and biochemical pathways.

She received the Murdock Poster Prize for Environmental Science/Geology issued by the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust.

The research poster "Method Development for Wastewater Epidemiology" was selected as the top poster for Environmental Science/Geology at the 2013 Murdock College Science Research Program (MCSRP) Conference in Vancouver, WA on November 9, 2013. The poster was selected on the basis of presenter communication, presenter knowledge and carefully analysis of the material, creativity of the undergraduate research project, organization and clarity, and poise in fielding audience questions. 


The Environmental Chemical Sciences Program of the National Science Foundation has recommended funding for a research proposal submitted by Professor Steven Neshyba. The award of $197,000 will support research at the University of Puget Sound for three years, starting in 2013, into the nature of ice roughness. Read the abstract.