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Faculty and Staff

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. 

Dr. Elizabeth J. O. Atkinson

Courses taught: organic chemistry, analytical chemistry, research methods, and research.

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.

Megan L. Bestwick - Assistant Professor

B.S., Southern Oregon University, 2001; M.S. University of Washington, 2002; Ph.D., University of Utah, 2009.

 Dr. Megan Bestwick

Courses taught: general chemistry, analytical chemistry, and biochemistry. 

Dr. Bestwick's research interests focus on biochemical processes within the mitochondria of cells.  Currently she is interested in determining how transcription factor proteins within the organelle stimulate or repress transcription of mitochondrial DNA using an in vitro transcription system.  

James J. Diamond - Professor

B.S., St. Joseph's University (PA), 1972; Ph.D., Stanford University, 1978. 

Dr. James J. Diamond

Courses taught: chemistry in the atmosphere, seminar, general chemistry, physical chemistry, research methods, research, and writing in chemistry.

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. 

Dr. Brian D. Gilbert

Courses taught: research methods, seminar, general chemistry, physical chemistry, instrumental methods of analysis, and research.


You can schedule an office hour meeting with me here.

Thomas J. Reinert - Professor, Chair

B.S., Iowa State University, 1979; Ph.D., University of Illinois, 1985.

Dr. Thomas J. Reinert

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.

Katherine Sours - Laboratory Instructor

B.S., Linfield College, 2010; Masters of Public Health, Boston University, 2013. 

 Katherine Sours

Courses taught: organic chemistry lab, physiology lab (for HHPA).

Ms. Sours (Linfield ’10) is the laboratory coordinator for the organic chemistry program. Her interests include human toxicology and health risk assessment relating to exposures to environmental contaminants.

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 Emeritus

B.A., University of California, Riverside 1966; Ph.D., California Institute of Technology, 1972.        

Dr. Robert Wolcott

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