The chemistry department consists of five full-time faculty members and one full-time staff members. The mission of the chemistry department is to help interested students learn chemistry. In pursuit of our mission, we offer students a sequence of courses, seminars, discussions, research, and other study opportunities designed to help them learn chemistry and attain their goals.
For our students, we intend to:
- generate and sustain their interest in natural philosophy,
- expose them to the beauty of theoretical chemistry,
- provide appropriate learning experiences for those whose goals include employment as chemists or graduate study in chemistry, and
- provide assistance to those who need to acquire basic chemical knowledge in pursuit of goals in other disciplines.
About one hundred students (chemistry, biology, physics, and general science majors) enter the general chemistry sequence each year. About six to eight chemistry majors graduate each spring. Each year, undergraduate science majors collaborate with faculty on a wide range of individual research projects.
Elizabeth J. O. Atkinson - Associate Professor; B.S., Creighton University, 1988; Ph.D., University of Arizona, 1995.
Courses taught: organic chemistry, analytical chemistry, chemical literature, and research methods.
Dr. Atkinson's principal areas of interest include both analytical and organic chemistry. Her current research includes synthesis/characterization of octa-substituted phthalocyanines, decomposition of hazardous compounds using electrified micro-heterogeneous catalysis, and the study of sonoluminescence in aqueous media.
James J. Diamond - Professor; B.S., St. Joseph's University (PA), 1972; Ph.D., Stanford University, 1978.
Courses taught: chemistry in the atmosphere (inquiry seminar), seminar, general chemistry, physical chemistry, research methods, and advanced laboratory.
Dr. Diamond's interests include physical chemistry, nonlinear dynamics in chemistry, and spectroscopy. His research interests include molecular modeling, ab initio calculations of electronic structure problems, and fundamental aspects of quantum mechanics.
Brian D. Gilbert - Associate Professor; B.S., University of Arizona, 1989; Ph.D., Indiana University 1994.
Courses taught: research methods, seminar, general chemistry, physical chemistry, advanced laboratory, art and science of brewing, chemical free beer (inquiry seminar).
Dr. Gilbert's research Interests are focused in experimental physical chemistry and nanotechnology, including characterization of the physical and chemical properties of nanoparticles, Raman spectroscopy and surface-enhanced Raman scattering.
Thomas J. Reinert - Professor, Chair; B.S., Iowa State University, 1979; Ph.D., University of Illinois, 1985.
Courses taught: general chemistry, analytical chemistry, inorganic chemistry, advanced group theory, advanced chemistry laboratory courses, and research methods.
Dr. Reinert's major interests are focused in inorganic chemistry, including porphyrin chemistry, organometallic chemistry, and chemical applications of group theory. His current research interests include the controlled synthesis of asymmetric porphyrins, the chemistry of wine-making, molecular modeling, and the design of computer-integrated laboratories for the general chemistry curriculum.
Amy Wolcott - General Chemistry Laboratory Coordinator; B.S., Linfield College, 1997.
Ms. Wolcott ('97 Linfield) is the laboratory coordinator for the general chemistry program. She serves as principal lab instructor and supervises the student teaching assistants and student tutors for general and organic chemistry.
Robert Wolcott - Professor; B.A., University of California, Riverside 1966; Ph.D., California Institute of Technology, 1972.
Courses taught: organic chemistry and biochemistry.
Dr. Wolcott's major interests are in biochemistry and organic chemistry. His current research interests include applications of HPLC techniques to assay biological samples and improvement of organic laboratory experiments for undergraduate education.