During high school I found that I really enjoyed chemistry. This pushed me to pursue and obtain multiple degrees in chemistry. I obtained my Bachelor's and Master's degree from the University of Idaho. While I was an undergraduate I was lucky enough to conduct research on the synthesis of new organic molecules for use in pharmaceutical research. During my Master's degree I conducted research for two years on main group and early transition metal polymerization catalysts. The title of my Master's thesis is "Synthesis and Reactivity of Bis(pentamethylcyclopentadienyl)aluminum Complexes". I then moved to the midwest and spent time in Iowa City and Chicago during my Ph.D. studies. I was awarded a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Chicago and the title of my dissertation is "Understanding Structure/Reactivity Trends in Palladium(II) Polymerization Catalysts containing Heterocyclic Donor Ligands". The time I spent doing my doctoral research allowed me to pursue the love I have for the synthesis of organic molecules and also explore the reactivity of transition metal complexes that incorporate these molecules. I gained a desire to understand how chemistry works on a fundamental, mechanistic level. It is this focus on the details that allows me to look at chemical reactions and help others to understand how they work.
I have been a tutor, teaching assistant for both lectures and laboratories, and a professor during my career as a chemist. I tutored students in general chemistry and organic chemistry as an undergraduate. As both a graduate student and professor I taught both organic chemistry lectures and labs and helped students in one-on-one meetings as well as review sessions. I am a tutor for middle school and high school science. I am able to tutor multiple areas of chemistry including high school and college chemistry and organic chemistry. My favorite subject is chemistry with a particular love for organic chemistry. I feel like I was born to put molecules together, especially carbon-carbon bonds, and I think of chemistry as really just molecular Legos that I am fortunate enough to spent my days working with. I love synthesizing new molecules but I am challenged intellectually on a daily basis to find and understand the applications for the chemistry I develop in the areas of industrial green chemistry and clinical chemistry. I believe the work I do has made me a patient person who has learned to explain the chemistry I pursue to a broad audience. This has shaped my teaching philosophy as I have grown more mature in my understanding of the chemical sciences. I am patient and search for multiple explanations of the subject material. I am aware that I am an expert in chemistry but if the person I am helping has not gained a better understanding of chemistry after working with me then I have not been successful. I am hands on with regards to leading by example and showing someone how I would solve a problem. I may not be able to impart the same love I have for chemistry in a particular student but if they see how much I enjoy the material I hope I will inspire them to continue to try and master the subject themselves.
I am a big believer in having interests and hobbies outside of my work in chemistry. When I was growing up, I lived in many different places in the United States so I love traveling within the US as well as the world. My travels often inspire new thoughts and solutions for problems I might be encountering at work. By getting away for an issue I find that an answer can appear in my thoughts when I am distracted and not focused on the roadblocks that often appear in my work. I am often accused of "thinking about molecules" when I am supposed to be relaxing if I look distracted. Some of my best ideas have come to me when wondering around a plaza in Mexico or Spain. At home, I enjoy watching Manchester United, riding my bike, running, listening to my very eclectic music collection and gardening when the weather cooperates. I believe I am a very inquisitive person and so I am open to learning new things and going to new places for experiences that I have not had before.
Undergraduate Degree: University of Idaho - Bachelor of Science, Chemistry
Graduate Degree: University of Chicago - Doctor of Philosophy, Chemistry
reading, hiking, traveling, biking, soccer
High School Chemistry
Middle School Science