VIPEr Fellows - Working to improve inorganic chemistry education

VIPEr Fellows are inorganic chemistry faculty who have been selected to participate in an innovative study to develop, test, and refine a flexible, foundation-level inorganic chemistry course. The 2018 VIPEr Fellows are the first faculty who have been selected for this ground-breaking project. They will join other inorganic chemists from across the country in a community of practice dedicated to improving student learning.

Anne Bentley teaches general, inorganic, and materials chemistry at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, OR. In the past, she completed her undergraduate studies at Oberlin College, taught high school in Namibia as a Peace Corps volunteer, grew nanowires as a PhD student at the University of Wisconsin, and combined educational research with solar energy research as a postdoctoral fellow at Purdue University.

Read an article on the Lewis & Clark website about Dr. Bentley's selection as a Fellow here.

Jason D'Acchioli teaches general and inorganic chemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. He received his B.S. in chemistry from Providence College, an Sc.M. from Brown University, and a Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry under the direction of Professors Malcolm Chisholm and Bruce Bursten at The Ohio State University, working on the physical and electronic structures of molybdenum and tungsten quadruply-bonded paddlewheel complexes.  Jason then spent a year as a postdoctoral scholar at Cornell University with Professors Roald Hoffmann and Frank DiSalvo. He is currently Department Chair, and supervisors undergraduate research on the electronic structure of inorganic complexes.

See University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point's tweet about Dr. D'Acchioli's participation as a VIPEr fellow here.

Craig M. Davis teaches inorganic and general chemistry at Xavier University in Cincinnati, OH. After graduating from the University of Scranton (B.S. Chemistry) and Ohio State University (M.S. Biochemistry), he taught at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania and Lancaster (PA) Catholic High School. He then completed his Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry at Syracuse University, followed by a post-doc at the University of Virginia. His research focuses on (1) the synthesis of ligands that stabilize metals in high oxidation states and (2) the development of laboratory exercises that feature NMR spectroscopy with less common (B-11, Al-27, V-51) nuclei

Eric Eitrheim currently teaches general, inorganic, and environmental chemistry at the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO) in Edmond, OK. He completed his PhD at the University of Iowa specializing in radiochemistry and aqueous inorganic chemistry before becoming a faculty member at UCO. Previously, he attended Luther College where he worked with the synthesis of novel polymers from renewable resources.

Dr. Carmen Gauthier received her B.S. degree from the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru (PUCP) in Lima and a Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from the University of New Hampshire. After teaching for several years at Salem State University in Salem, MA, she joined the chemistry faculty at Florida Southern College in 1999. She now holds the Jesse Ball DuPont Chair of Natural Sciences and she is the Chair of the Dept. of Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Physics. Her research interests are in supramolecular chemistry, particularly the synthesis and characterization of metal-organic materials (MOMs) and composite materials. In 2016-2017 she was the recipient of one of the Fulbright Scholar awards to Peru, where she taught and conducted research in material sciences at the PUCP.

Steven N. Girard is an Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin–Whitewater, where he teaches general and inorganic chemistry courses. He earned undergraduate degrees in chemistry and music from Lawrence University and a Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from Northwestern University, and later was an NSF Science, Engineering, and Education for Sustainability Postdoctoral Fellow at UW–Madison. Buoyed by astute and enthusiastic undergraduate researchers, the Girard lab at UWW investigates nanostructured thermoelectric materials, sustainable synthesis of inorganic and nanostructured compounds, innovative new ways of blowing things up, and flux chemistry.

Gary Guillet teaches general, inorganic, and bioinorganic chemistry at Georgia Southern University Armstrong Campus in Savannah, GA. He left Rhode Island to pursue his undergraduate degree in sunny FL at the University of Florida. He taught high-school in Tampa, FL before returning to the University of Florida for his Ph.D. His graduate work was on design of ligands for lanthanide and actinide separations. He then completed a post-doc at, where else, the University of Florida designing ligands that support unique multimetallic complexes with bio-relevant reactivity. 

Read Georgia Southern University's press release announcing Dr. Guillet's participation as a VIPEr fellow here.

Kevin Hoke teaches inorganic chemistry and general chemistry at Berry College in Rome, GA, where he studies metalloproteins using direct electrochemical methods. He was hooked on inorganic chemistry as an undergraduate researcher at Rice University, and then entered the field of bioinorganic chemistry as a graduate student at Caltech. This was followed by postdoctoral training in protein electrochemistry at Oxford University and macromolecular crystallography at Cornell.

Adam Johnson is a Professor of Chemistry at Harvey Mudd College. He carried out undergraduate research at Oberlin College, completed a Ph.D. at MIT, and spent two years as a postdoctoral researcher at UC Berkeley. His current research interests are in ligand design for asymmetric catalysis, and has supervised more than 55 undergraduate students. He is a co-founder of IONiC. In his spare time, he runs ultramarathons.

Read Harvey Mudd College's press release announcing Dr. Johnson's participation as a VIPEr fellow here.

John Lee teaches general and inorganic chemistry at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC). He obtained a B.S. in chemistry from UTC under the direction of Prof. Gregory J. Grant. After completing his Ph.D. at North Carolina State University with Prof. T. Brent Gunnoe he spent two years as a research chemist at Eastman Chemical Company. He then accepted a teaching-research postdoctoral position under the direction of Grant at UTC, and subsequently joined the faculty at UTC in 2012.

Robin Macaluso teaches general and inorganic chemistry at the undergraduate and graduate levels at the University of Texas at Arlington. She enjoys mentoring undergraduate and graduate (MS and PhD) student in solid-state chemistry and materials research. Robin is particularly interested in teaching and research involving synthesis and neutron and X-ray scattering of solid-state materials. Robin completed her postdoctoral research in the Materials Science Division at Argonne National Laboratory.

Catherine McCusker started her faculty position at East Tennessee State University in the fall of 2016 where she teaches undergraduate and master’s level inorganic chemistry. She earned her BS degree from Roger Williams University, and did undergraduate research investigating bridged ruthenium dimers. She went on to earn her PhD from Michigan State University using infrared spectroscopy to study the relaxation dynamics of ruthenium polypyridyl complexes. Her postdoc position at North Carolina State University involved developing new copper photosensitizers for solar fuels chemistry and photochemical upconversion. Her current research is focused on chromium and zinc photosensitizers for solar fuels photochemistry.

Michelle Personick teaches general, inorganic, and materials chemistry at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT. She received her undergraduate degree from Middlebury College, where she studied platinum anticancer drug analogues, and her Ph.D. from Northwestern University, where she developed syntheses for shaped gold and silver nanoparticles. As a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard University, she studied the catalytic behavior of bimetallic nanoporous alloys. Her research group at Wesleyan focuses on developing tailored metal nanomaterials to enable fundamental research toward improved catalysts for resource-efficient chemical synthesis and the clean production of energy.

Caroline Saouma is an assistant professor at the University of Utah. Her research program is focused on how to improve catalytic reduction of CO2 using homogeneous catalysts. In the fall, she teaches CHEM 3100 (undergraduate inorganic chemistry lecture), and CHEM 5730 (advanced inorganic lab). In both of her classes, she discusses the role of inorganic chemistry in alternative energy schemes.

Tod Thananatthanachon teaches general chemistry and inorganic chemistry I and II at the University of Evansville. He received his Ph.D from Washington University where he worked on the syntheses of novel iridacycle complexes. His research areas involve syntheses of organometallic compounds, catalysis and green chemistry.

Bradley Wile completed his undergraduate degree at St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia, Canada before moving to Halifax, Nova Scotia for graduate studies at Dalhousie University where he pursued an interest in late transition metal synthesis and catalysis. Dr. Wile moved to Cornell University to work with several iron complexes as a postdoctoral researcher, and served as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Hamilton College for two years, before moving to Ohio Northern University, where he is currently an Associate Professor of Chemistry. At ONU, he teaches general and inorganic chemistry, as well as a capstone course focussed on scientific writing.

Weiwei Xie teaches general and inorganic chemistry at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, LA. She obtained her bachelor degree from Nankai University, China. After that, she continued her PhD. study at Iowa State University and graduated with Research Excellence. During her time at Ames, she volunteered to teach kids (4-6 years old) at Iowa Chinese Church. She did the postdoctoral research at Princeton University from 2014 to 2016. She was awarded the Beckman Young Investigator in 2018.

Kari Young teaches courses in general and inorganic chemistry as well as renewable energy technology at Centre College in Danville, KY. Her undergraduate students at Centre are researching bio-inspired catalysts for the oxidation of lignin model compounds. Before arriving at Centre, Kari studied manganese catalysts for light-driven water oxidation at Yale University. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Tulsa with majors in both chemistry and English.