Chemistry

Chemistry Faculty & Staff

Top Row:  Luc Boisvert, John Hanson, Stacia Rink, Travis Harris, Heather Gilliland, Eli Hyung Lee 
Bottom Row:  Jeff Grinstead, Megan Gessel, Bob Peaslee, Dan Burgard, Jill McCourt, Alia Clark, Steven Neshyba
Missing:  Holly Jones, Jo Crane, Amanda  Mifflin,  Eric  Scharrer

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, organic synthesis, and surface 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 completing a chemistry degree are able 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.

Announcements

LUC BOISVERT IS PROMOTED TO ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR AND AWARDED TENURE!

Please join us in congratulating Professor Boisvert on this momentous achievement.


OUR FRIEND AND COLLEAGUE TIM "WIZARD" HOYT PASSES AWAY

It is with great sadness that the department announces the passing of our friend and colleague, Tim “Wizard” Hoyt. In 2013, he was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and he retired in 2014 after 30+ years of teaching chemistry.  The Wizard was known for his entertaining Magic Shows that demonstrated his love of chemistry to audiences of all ages with stories and dynamic chemical changes, smells, and loud explosions. He performed his last Magic Show in October of 2013 to over 1000 people.

Tim’s primary responsibilities were as a lab instructor  across the spectrum of introductory and sophomore courses, where his enthusiasm and dedication contributed strongly to student learning. He perennially supervised more than two dozen lab course assistants, providing safety training, and preparation for lab support. 

More information about the Wiz 

 

CHEMISTRY PROFESSORS RECEIVE FUNDING FROM THE NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION!

Amanda Mifflin’s grant proposal, RUI: Influence of surface interactions of organic ligand-iron oxide/water interfaces on carbon and iron cycling studied by second harmonic generation and sum frequency generation spectroscopies, was funded for a three-year period in the amount of $209,663. This funding will allow Amanda and her students to continue surface spectroscopy studies on an important biogeochemical system.

Eric Scharrer’s grant proposal, RUI: Investigations of the cybotactic nematic phase in bent-core liquid crystals, was funded for a three year period in the amount of $124, 245. This funding will allow Eric and his students to continue their studies of the unique phase behavior of oxadiazole containing compounds. 

STEVEN NESHYBA RECEIVES TWO NSF GRANTS

NSF has awarded Professor Neshyba a 4-year grant supporting research about ice.  Titled "RUI:  Toward a Comprehensive Theory of Mesoscopic Morphology of Ice", students involved in the project will create three-dimensional representations of ice crystals grown in a scanning electron microscope, model their light-scattering properties, and construct a theoretical framework for predicting how such crystals arise in cirrus clouds. 

Steven has received a two year NSF Research in Undergraduate Institutions collaborative grant award.  Titled Computational guided inquiry for incorporating polar research into undergraduate curricula.  This $300,000 grant Is aimed at developing teaching modules that incorporate polar research into a broad range of undergraduate courses, including Chemistry, Physics, Atmospheric Sciences, and Economics through the use of computational guided inquiry and classroom flipping.  Also involved in the project are Professor of Economics Lea Fortmann,  Dr. Penny Rowe, of the NorthWest Research Association, and School of Education Dean and Professor Amy Ryken

MEGAN GESSEL AND DAN BURGARD HAVE RECEIVED A $350,000 NSF MAJOR RESEARCH INSTRUMENTATION GRANT

The Chemistry department is receiving funds to purchase a new Quadrupole Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometer from the National Science Foundation Major Research Instrumentation Program.  The $350,000 award was received through a grant written by Megan Gessel and Dan Burgard to support research and advanced lab courses at the Puget Sound.