2019 Workshop Participants

Brian Anderson - Keene State College

Brian is an associate professor of chemistry at Keene State college where he teaches a variety of chemistry courses including general, inorganic, organometallic and advanced synthetic chemistry.  Brian received B.A. in chemistry from Skidmore College in 2003 and earned his PhD from Dartmouth College in 2008 working under Dave Glueck. His graduate studies focused on the metal catalyzed asymmetric synthesis of P-stereogenic phosphine ligands. After graduate school,  Brian was a postdoctoral researcher for Matt Sigman at the University of Utah where he worked on elucidating the mechanism of the direct-oxygen coupled Wacker Oxidation. Brian's current interest are in the design, synthesis, and investigation of novel metal catalysts.

Jeremy Andreatta - Worcester State University

Jeremy received a B.S. in chemistry and mathematics from Tarleton State University and then his Ph.D. from Texas A&M University under the direction of Donald J. Darensbourg focusing on both fundamental transition metal kinetics and the chromium catalyzed copolymerization of carbon dioxide and carbon disulfide with epoxides. He then worked in the DOE funded EFRC Center for Catalytic Hydrocarbon Functionalization with T. Brent Gunnoe at the University of Virginia where he focused on the covalent tethering of platinum catalysts on/in to mesoporous silica nanoparticles for use as heterogeneous catalysts for olefin hydroarylation. In 2012, he accepted a position as an assistant professor in the chemistry department at Worcester State University where he teaches both organic lectures and labs as well as courses in inorganic and organometallic chemistry and a sophomore literature seminar that focuses on developing student skills in accessing chemical literature, improving scientific writing skills, becoming an effective peer reviewer, and gaining knowledge of the potential career paths. His research focuses broadly on the synthesis of new transition metal complexes for use as catalysts in a variety of applications, especially the use/activation of carbon dioxide as a chemical feedstock.

Maria Carroll - Providence College

Maria is an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Providence College in Providence, RI. She teaches general and inorganic chemistry. She completed her undergraduate studies at Drew University, where she conducted research using computational methods to probe the role of metal ions in phosphodiester hydrolysis. She then moved to the University of Illinois, where she completed her PhD with Thomas Rauchfuss, working on the synthesis of small molecule mimics of hydrogenase enzyme active sites. She then completed postdoctoral work at the University of Pennsylvania with Dan Mindiola, where she studied the synthesis and reactivity of titanium nitrides. After a year as a visiting professor at Franklin and Marshall College, she started her position at Providence College in 2016. At Providence College, she works with undergraduate researchers, and the research is focused on small molecule activation and the role of redox active ligands in catalytic reactions.

Chris Durr - Amherst College

Chris received his BS in chemistry from Kent State University in 2010 and his PhD from the Ohio State University in 2015 working with Prof. Malcolm Chisholm. After a year as an assistant professor at the College of Wooster he took a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Oxford with Prof. Charlotte Williams investigating both ring-opening and olefin polymerization. His current research at Amherst College is focused on the development of new metal catalysts for the formation of biodegradable and biorenewable polymers.

Wes Farrell - United States Naval Academy

Wes received his BS with honors from Wake Forest University in 2010.  He completed his Ph.D. in 2015 at University of Maryland – College Park under the direction of Prof. Lawrence Sita, investigating small molecule activation and catalytic atom-transfer reactions using early transition metal complexes.  Wes then went on to do postdoctoral research at the National Institute of Standards and Technology where he worked on synthesizing precision polyolefins. He joined the chemistry department at the United States Naval Academy in 2018, where he currently teaches introductory chemistry and performs research in the field of olefin metathesis.

Nate Hartmann - Boston University

Nate received his B.S. in 2013 from Wheaton College (IL). He earned his Ph.D. from the University of California Santa Barbara in 2018 working with Professor Trevor W. Hayton. His graduate research focused on the synthesis, characterization, and reactivity of late transition metal (groups 9, 10, and 11) coordination complexes that feature metal-ligand multiple bonds. Nate is currently a postdoctoral faculty fellow at Boston University working with Professor Linda H. Doerrer developing electrocatalysts for nitrate (NO3-) reduction. In addition to research, he is also involved in teaching general and inorganic chemistry courses at BU.

John Miecznikowski - Fairfield University

John teaches General Chemistry I and II, General Chemistry II Laboratory,  Advanced Inorganic Chemistry Lecture and Laboratory, Chemical Analysis lecture, and Introduction to Forensic Science (for non-science majors) at Fairfield University (Fairfield, CT).  He received his B.S. Degree in Chemistry from Trinity College (Hartford, CT) and he received his Ph.D. Degree from Yale University (New Haven, CT) where he was mentored by Robert Crabtree.  After completing his Ph.D., he completed a post-doctoral faculty fellowship at Boston University (Boston, MA) where he taught General Chemistry I and Inorganic Chemistry lecture and laboratory and performed research under the direct mentorship of John Caradonna.  He started as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Fairfield University in September 2007 and was tenured and promoted to Associate Professor of Chemistry in 2013. His independent research efforts have focused on preparing and characterizing Zn(II), Co(II), Cu(I) and Cu(II) complexes that contain a tridentate pincer ligand with sulfur, nitrogen, and sulfur donor atoms.  He has screened the Zn(II) and Co(II) complexes for the reduction of aldehydes and the Cu(I) and Cu(II) complexes for oxygen-atom transfer reactions. He is currently synthesizing and characterizing water-soluble tridentate pincer ligands with sulfur, nitrogen, and sulfur donor atoms and metalating the ligand precursors with Zn(II), Co(II), or Cu(II) salts to form Zn(II), Co(II),  or Cu(II) complexes. He has mentored and directly supervised 35 Fairfield University undergraduate students in laboratory research projects. 

Colleen Partigianoni - Ferris State University

Colleen received her BS in chemistry from Ithaca College in 1986 and her Ph.D. from Michigan State University in 1991, under the guidance of Professor Daniel Nocera.  Her doctoral research focused on photochemical electron transfer reactions of quadruply-bonded bimetallic complexes. She has been a professor at Ferris State University since 1999.  Her teaching assignments are primarily general chemistry and a one-semester course in inorganic chemistry.

Joanne Smieja - Gonzaga University

Joanne is a Professor of Inorganic Chemistry at Gonzaga University.  During her 31 years on the faculty, she has taught all of the courses for majors except Organic Chemistry II and Biochemistry.  In academic year 2019-2020, she will teach general chemistry, a sophomore-level foundational inorganic chemistry course, a 300-level career development seminar, a 300-level advanced inorganic/physical chemistry lab, a new 400-level organometallic course, and an environmental chemistry lecture and lab required of all environmental studies majors.  Her current research is the identification of microplastics in the environment. 

Allie Strom - Smith College

Allie received her A.B. in Chemistry from Harvard College and earned her PhD in Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley in the group of John Hartwig. During her graduate studies she conducted research on organometallic chemistry and catalysis. Following her PhD, she did postdoctoral research in the lab of Tim Jamison at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, using organometallic catalysts to conduct organic synthesis in continuous flow. She is currently a tenure-track assistant professor at Smith College in the Department of Chemistry, and her current research is focused on the development of new catalysts for organic transformations.

Leon Tilley - Stonehill College

Leon is a Professor of Chemistry at Stonehill College. He received B.A. degrees in chemistry and Russian from Grinnell College, and earned his Ph.D. in chemistry from Indiana University under the mentorship of Dr. Vernon J. Shiner, Jr.   He has been teaching and mentoring undergraduate researchers at Stonehill since 1996. He teaches a variety of general chemistry, organic chemistry, and inorganic chemistry classes and laboratories. His research interests include utilizing gamma-silyl percaudal stabilization to construct strained hydrocarbons, developing new synthetic methodologies for synthesis of silyl and fluoroalkyl-substituted systems, and preparing and investigating the reactivity of new, green oxoammonium salt-based oxidizing agents.

Denyce Wicht - Suffolk University

Denyce earned a B.A. degree in chemistry with a minor in American literature from the University of Vermont.  She obtained a Ph.D. in synthetic organometallic chemistry from Dartmouth College with David S. Glueck and continued postdoctoral research at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the laboratory of Richard R. Schrock.  She was employed as a staff chemist in the Polymer and Specialty Chemical Technologies group at General Electric Global Research Center and held the position of Visiting Assistant Professor at Wellesley College. Currently, she is an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Suffolk University in Boston, MA.

A strong professional record of progressive course development demonstrates the depth and breadth of Professor Wicht’s commitment to both innovative and tried-and-true teaching methods. She spearheaded curricular redesign for Organic Chemistry I and II by incorporating green chemistry throughout the 200-level lab content. Her expansion of course instruction and curricula development to the 100-level includes technology enhanced teaching and learning and incorporation of in-class active learning modules using online-accessed content in a collaborative learning classroom.  She also teaches the 300-level Advanced Inorganic Chemistry course required of all chemistry majors at Suffolk University. Her research interests involve understanding the mechanistic processes that cleave methyl group carbon bonds to high-valent main group elements, specifically silicon and sulfur. She is funded through the National Science Foundation to study the enzymes involved in the bacterial sulfur assimilation pathway from naturally occurring dimethylsulfone to inorganic sulfite.