2016 Workshop Participants

Eugene Chong - Univeristy of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Eugene Chong is an NSERC postdoctoral fellow in the Sanford Lab at the University of Michigan where he is studying organometallic reactions of high-valent group 10 metals. He received a B.Sc. degree from the University of Toronto in 2009 and his Ph.D. under Prof. Laurel L. Schafer from the University of British Columbia in 2014. In his doctoral work, he developed a series of group 4 and 5 metal complexes for applications in the catalytic synthesis of amines and N-heterocycles. He also conducted a one-year postdoctoral research working on gold catalysis and borylation reactions under Prof. Suzanne A. Blum at the University of California, Irvine.

Craig Donahue - University of Michigan - Dearborn

Craig Donahue is an Associate Professor of Chemistry at the University of Michigan-Dearborn (UM-D) in Dearborn, MI.  He received a B.S. in Chemistry from Lehigh University, a Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from University of Massachusetts-Amherst under the direction of Ron Archer, and then did a postdoc with Willian L. Jolly at the University of California, Berkeley.  At UM-D he teaches a two-semester general chemistry sequence to undergraduate engineering students using the theme Chemistry and the Automobile, and inorganic lecture and laboratory courses.  He also occasionally teaches organic laboratory courses.  His current research focuses on developing applied laboratory experiments that showcase chemistry in an engineering context.  Current and past projects include electroless deposition on plastics, anodizing and coloring aluminum, and analysis of the thickeners in automotive grease.   His past basic research projects involved preparation of early transition complexes with N/Se donor ligands.

David Eichhorn - Wichita State University

 David Eichhorn is Professor and Chair of the Chemistry Department at Wichita State University in Wichita, KS, where the department offers undergraduate, MS, and PhD degrees. He received his AB from Harvard (1986) and PhD from UC Berkeley (1992) under the direction of Bill Armstrong, then did a postdoc at Northwestern with Brian Hoffman. He has been at WSU since 1996 and  teaches General Chemistry, GOB, inorganic chemistry, and inorganic chemistry lab courses at the undergraduate level, as well as graduate courses in physical methods, bioinorganic chemistry, and X-ray crystallography. His group does research involving metal complexes of cyano-substituted scorpionate ligands and biomimetic complexes of metals with mixed N/S donor ligands.

Samuel Esarey - University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Samuel Esarey is a 3rd-year materials chemistry PhD candidate at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI, under the direction of Prof. Bart M. Bartlett.  He received his B.S. cum laude in Chemistry at Denison University (2013), and will pursue a career as an inorganic chemistry professor in the liberal arts upon completing his training.  His current research focuses on non-heme iron oxidation catalysts, as well as solid-state metal-oxide semiconductors and electrocatalysts for applications to solar-driven water oxidation.  His past research at Denison involved the synthesis of hematite photoanodes for similar applications to overall solar water splitting, under the guidance of Prof. Jordan E. Katz.  Current chemical education projects include the restructuring of general chemistry laboratories toward a “flipped laboratory” setting, and a collaboration with a visiting scholar from the University of Liberia to develop low-cost general chemistry laboratory modules suitable for their university.

Mary Grellier - University of Toulouse

Mary Grellier teaches basic, inorganic and organometallic chemistry from undergraduate to graduate levels at University of Toulouse (France). He is also involved in developing e-learning for graduate students. He received his PhD in 1996, from the University of Strasbourg (France), where he studied palladium organometallic chemistry with Dr Michel Pfeffer. He obtained a ‘‘Professeur Agrege´’’ position at university of Strasbourg in 1995. In 2000, he was promoted to Maıtre de Conferences’’ (equivalent to assistant professor) and moved at the University of Toulouse (France). In 2010, he received his HDR (habilitation) and promoted to “Maitre de Conference Hors Classe” in 2012 (equivalent to associate professor) at University of Toulouse. His research is done at Laboratoire de Chimie de Coordination, a CNRS-laboratory. His topics concern the study of catalytic and stoichiometric reaction mechanisms with different transition metal complexes (Ru, Fe,..). A special attention is made for the characterization of unusual coordination modes such as 2 electron-3 center systems. His goals are to find new catalytic reactions using smooth reaction conditions and to find new hydrogen storage materials.

Beth Jensen - Aquinas College

Beth Jensen is an Associate Professor at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She earned a Ph.D. in solid state inorganic chemistry from Iowa State University studying reduced lanthanide halide compounds with John Corbett. At Aquinas, she regularly teaches general, inorganic, and analytical chemistry for science majors as well as chemistry for non-majors. Her research with undergraduates has ranged from pesticide analysis in soils to synthesis of ionic liquid crystals.

Daniel Kissel - Lewis University

Daniel S. Kissel is an assistant professor of inorganic chemistry at Lewis University in Romeoville, IL USA. He received a B.S. in chemistry from Butler University and later went on to earn a Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry at Loyola University Chicago where he studied ligand design and coordination chemistry. He began his career at Lewis University in the fall of 2014, and has taught courses at all levels in the chemistry department including general chemistry, analytical chemistry, and advanced inorganic chemistry. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, he also mentors students in research. Kissel’s research group focuses on ligand design and coordination chemistry in a variety of different applications including bioinorganic chemistry, organometallic chemistry, and materials sciences. His group is particularly interested in metal organic frameworks and their application in a diverse range of scientific fields. 

Shirley Lin - United States Naval Academy

Shirley Lin is professor of chemistry at the United States Naval Academy. She graduated from MIT in 1995 after being introduced to organometallic chemistry by Richard R. Schrock. Her PhD thesis, completed in 2000, focused upon metallocene-catalyzed olefin polymerization under the supervision of Robert M. Waymouth at Stanford University. Following a postdoctoral experience at The Scripps Research Institute with Julius Rebek Jr., she arrived at USNA in 2002 where she teaches organic and general chemistry. Her research interests include the development of novel catalytic synthetic methodologies and chemistry education research.

George Lisensky - Beloit College

George Lisensky is Professor and chair of chemistry at Beloit College in Wisconsin. He teaches introductory, analytical, inorganic and nanochemistry courses. He received his bachelors degree from Earlham College and his PhD from Caltech. He began as a bioinorganic chemist, moved to semiconductor materials chemistry, and then to nanochemistry. He has been a member of quite a few education projects that range from the Materials Science Companion for General Chemistry, topical modules for the ChemLinks project, solid state and polyhedral model kits and optical transforms from the Institute for Chemical Education, the Video Lab Manual for Nanoscale Science and Technology with UW-Madison MRSEC, the NISE network for informal science education, and he co-directs the CCWCS workshop on Renewable Energy and the CCWCS workshop on Materials Science and Nanotechnology.

Richard Lord - Grand Valley State University

Richard Lord teaches general and inorganic chemistry at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, MI. He earned a Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry at Indiana University studying spin-crossover and multielectron transfer reactions using computational chemistry before moving to Wayne State University to study the excited states of Ru polypyridyl complexes and polyphenolate transition-metal catalysts. His undergraduates currently work on: (i) small molecule activation/catalysis using transition- and main-group metals and (ii) the use of redox-active ligands in redox chemistry.


Jacob Lutter - Univeristy of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Jacob Lutter is a rising fourth year graduate student in Vincent Pecoraro’s lab.  His research interests focus on luminescence and magnetic properties of lanthanide ions within metallacrown constructs.  Ultimately such constructs will have bioimaging applications.  In addition to his inorganic work, Jacob has also worked with Ginger Schultz on an education research project on graduate student pedagogical content knowledge, funded by the University of Michigan CSEI|UM program.  Jacob has also been serving on the organizational committee for CSEI|UM since its launch in fall of 2014. In the future he wishes to become a professor at a PUI institution.

Kristy Mardis - Chicago State University

Kristy Mardis is a Professor of Chemistry at Chicago State University in Chicago, Illinois where she has taught Physical Chemistry, Advanced Inorganic Chemistry, and General Chemistry for ten years steadily incorporating more and more guided inquiry activities over that period.  She received her PhD in theoretical physical chemistry from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1998 where she studied rotational-vibrational coupling in gas phase methane under Dr. Edwin L. Sibert, III.  She then spent two years in a post-doctoral position at the National Institute of Standards and Technology with Dr. Michael Gilson using computational tools to study binding affinities of small molecules to HIV protease.  Currently, she and her students use electronic structure methods in combination with Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) data to study organic photovoltaics and biomimetic transition metal catalysts. 

Stephanie Poland - Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

Stephanie Poland teaches general and inorganic chemistry at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, an undergraduate math, science, and engineering college in Terre Haute, IN.  In 2013, she received her Ph.D. in inorganic & polymer chemistry from Texas A&M University under the direction of Donald Darensbourg.  Her current research focuses on the development of biometal catalysts for the ring-opening polymerization of trimethylene carbonate.

Brandon Quillian - Armstrong State University 

Brandon Quillian teaches organic chemistry, organometallic chemistry, and fermentation chemistry at Armstrong State University in Savannah, GA. Brandon received his BS in chemistry from Armstrong Atlantic State University (Savannah, GA) and his PhD from The University of Georgia, Athens, GA, where he developed ligands and methods to facilitate main group metal-metal bonding. He completed his post-doctoral studies at the University of Virginia, where he develop transition metal, C-H activation, catalysts for the purpose of olefin hydroarylation. Dr. Quillian’s research now examines anionic oxygen donor ligands as a means to stabilize low-coordinate transition metal intermediates that are generated in organometallic catalytic cycles.

Matthew Riehl - Bethany Lutheran College

Matthew Riehl teaches Inorganic Chemistry, Physical Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry and other courses at Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato, Minnesota.  He received his B.S. Chemistry degree from DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana and his Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from the University of Illinois where he studied cationic nickel complexes related to olefin polymerization catalysts under Dr. Greg Girolami.  In 2011, he spent a sabbatical leave working in the labs of Dr. Wenbin Lin at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill on Metal-Organic Frameworks.  While his research interests remain in the area of developing novel ligands for transition metal complexes, he is currently more active in developing new laboratory experiences for several of his courses.

Terrie Salupo-Bryant - Manchester University

Terrie Salupo-Bryant teaches introductory, general, and advanced inorganic chemistry at Manchester University in North Manchester, Indiana.  She received her B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Dayton and her Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry at Ohio State University studying air sensitive metal cluster and ytterbium boride compounds.  She currently shares a teaching position with her husband, Mark Bryant, at MU.  Her research focuses on developing and modifying lab experiments and chemical demonstrations to support students in their learning of chemistry.

Bryan Sears - Emmanuel College

Bryan Sears teaches general and inorganic chemistry at Emmanuel College in Boston, MA.  He received his B.S. in chemistry from Georgia Southern University in 2005 and his PhD from The Ohio State University in 2010.  During his graduate research, he was mentored by Dr. Claudia Turro and worked to synthesize and study the photochemical reactions of ruthenium complexes containing redox active ligands as potential photochemotherapy agents.  After completing his PhD, he moved away from inorganic chemistry, but continued his work in photomedicine, at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital.  During his postdoctoral work at HMS/MGH, he was able to develop nanomaterials that co-deliver photodynamic and traditional therapies for the treatment of pancreatic and ovarian cancers.  In 2012, he joined the faculty of Emmanuel College and has blended his research interest in photoactive metal complexes, nanomedicine and drug delivery.  

Kari Stone - Benedictine University

Kari Stone is an associate professor of chemistry at Benedictine University where she teaches inorganic and general chemistry courses. She received her Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University in 2008 under the direction of Michael T. Green in the field of bioinorganic chemistry. After receiving her Ph.D., she transitioned into synthetic inorganic chemistry at the University of California-Irvine as a postdoctoral associate with Andrew S. Borovik. Kari has been at Benedictine University since 2009 maintaining an active research program with undergraduate students. Her research interests involve production of protein and small molecule catalysts for oxygen activation of small molecules.

Roxy Swails - Lafayette College

Roxy Swails is currently an Assistant Professor at Lafayette College in Easton, PA.  She received her B.S. in Chemistry from George Fox University and her Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from University of Florida with Adam Veige.  She worked with Maurice Brookhart and Thomas Meyer at UNC-Chapel Hill as a postdoctoral research associate and taught at Shorter and Mercer University before taking her current position. At Lafayette, Roxy teaches General and Organic Chemistry and has an active undergraduate research program involving the synthesis and examination of water soluble M-NHC complexes.

Emily Sylvester - Wheeling Jesuit University

Emily Sylvester is an Assistant Professor at Wheeling Jesuit University in Wheeling, WV, where she teaches general and inorganic chemistry lecture and lab courses, and occasionally environmental chemistry lecture and lab. She earned her B.S. in chemistry at Georgetown University and her doctorate at Cornell University. Emily currently directs students in synthesizing metal complexes with chelating iminopyridine and dithiocarbamate ligands. In addition to teaching and doing chemistry with undergraduates, her interests include cooking, knitting, gardening, and learning to play the ukulele. 

Santiago Toledo - St. Edward's Univeristy

Santiago Toledo teaches Inorganic Chemistry, General Chemistry, and Organic chemistry courses at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas.  He received his B.S. Chemistry degree from Texas Lutheran University in 2004 and his Ph.D. in Bioinorganic chemistry from the University of Washington in Seattle in 2009. At Washington he studied the reaction and mechanism of enzyme active site mimics, specifically that of superoxide reductase with Dr. Julie Kovacs.  After that he taught for six years at Texas Lutheran University where he received tenure and promotion to assistant professor of Chemistry. He pursued a new opportunity in 2015 and moved to St. Edward’s, which has allowed him to focus on a more diverse set of professional activities including a greater emphasis on research. His current research involves understanding the structure-function relationship of Nickel and Zinc active site mimics of acireductone dioxygenase, a Nickel enzyme found in the methionine salvage pathway of bacteria and plants. 

Murielle Watzky - University of Northern Colorado

Murielle Watzky is an Assistant Professor at the University of Northern Colorado, where she teaches classes in the Inorganic and General Chemistry curriculum, along with classes in Science Education.  She received her Ph.D. from Wayne State University, where she studied electron transfer and electronic coupling in transition metal complexes under the direction of Professor John Endicott.  She completed postdoctoral work at Colorado State University under the direction of Professor Richard Finke, where she studied the kinetics of formation of transition metal nanocluster catalysts, along with the kinetic modeling of protein aggregation in neurological disorders. Her current research interests include developing means to better understand the interactions of metal nanoparticles with biological systems.

Carmen Works - Sonoma State University

Carmen Works obtained her Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from UCSB with Peter Ford in 2001, and shorty after joined the faculty at Sonoma State University. Her Ph.D. Work focused on studying the photochemistry of ruthenium-NO salen compounds. Dr. Works’ research group at SSU is concerned with studying the photo and thermal chemistry of iron-iron hydrogenase model compounds and the bioinorganic chemistry of chromium(III) ions.   She teaches Advance Inorganic Chemistry, General Chemistry, Critical Thinking, Quant, Synthesis, Bioinorganic Chemistry and Biochemistry.  She also created a Freshmen Learning Community (FLC) for all chemistry and biochemistry majors and this experience includes a critical thinking course.