Faculty and Staff
The faculty in the Department each have the terminal degree in their field of study. We pride ourselves on how we work with students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels in the classroom, the laboratory, and outside of the academic setting. Click on our names to learn more about what we do.
Faculty in the Department
Hua Zhao, Professor and Chair, Ph.D., New Jersey Institute of Technology, Organic Chemistry
and Chemical Engineering. Biocatalysis for biomaterials and biofuel, DNA-based hybrid
catalysts for asymmetric catalysis, organic synthesis, deep desulfurization of liquid
fuels, and ionic liquids.
Corina Brown, Lecturer, Ph.D., University of Northern Colorado, Chemical Education. Correlation
of topics in pre-nursing chemistry with topics required for success in nursing.
Aichun Dong, Professor, Ph.D., Colorado State University, Biochemistry; Editor-in-Chief, International
Journal of Biological Macromolecules. Protein structure; structure function relationship;
protein folding/unfolding; protein denaturation, stabilization, and formulation; protein
Robert P. Houser, Assistant Vice President for Research & Sponsored Programs, Professor, Ph.D., University
of Minnesota, Inorganic Chemistry. Synthetic inorganic chemistry, bioinorganic chemistry,
coordination chemistry, coordination polymers.
Richard M. Hyslop, Professor, Ph.D., University of Texas, Biochemistry. Metabolism and mechanisms of
reactions of immunoactive and antineoplastic agents; drug design; enzymology of calcium-regulated
Michael D. Mosher, Professor and Chair, Ph.D., Texas Tech University, Organic Chemistry. Synthetic
organic chemistry, heterocyclic chemistry of N and O containing molecules, novel syntheses
of 2-isozazolines, and anti-cancer drug design.
David L. Pringle, Professor, Ph.D., Iowa State University, Analytical Chemistry. Application of HPLC
and GC to biochemical separations; use of naturally-occurring sulfide minerals as
electrode surfaces; development of industrially-based analytical experiments.
Richard W. Schwenz, Professor, Ph.D., Ohio State University, Physical Chemistry. Molecular spectroscopy
of transition metal oxides and halides; computer interfacing with laboratory instrumentation,
physical chemistry reform.
Jerry P. Suits, Associate Professor, Ph. D., University of Texas at Austin, Chemical Education.
Interactive multimedia modules and simulations; computer-interfaced laboratory experiments;
student visualization, learning styles, conceptual learning and achievement.
Murielle Watzky, Assistant Professor, Ph.D., Wayne State University, Inorganic and Physical Chemistry.
Use of the optical and electrochemical properties of silver nanoparticles to understand
the mechanisms involved in their antimicrobial action.
Melissa Weinrich, Assistant Professor, Ph.D., University of Arizona, Chemistry Education. Eye-movement
modeling examples, eye-tracking, student conceptions in organic chemistry, organic
Staff in the Department
Jeanyce Nalley, Administrative Assistant. Jeanyce takes care of the chemistry office's day-to-day
management, tracking budgets, ordering office supplies, balancing all the faculty
travel cards, assisting students, preparing paperwork and examinations, and planning
the events of the Department.
Sean Johnson, Assistant Brewer. Sean assists in the teaching, recruiting, and curriculum development
for the brewing laboratory science program and in the maintenance and operation of
the brewery on campus.
Scott Newkirk, Laboratory Coordinator. Scott runs the chemistry stockroom, a position that includes
ordering and maintaining the chemical inventory and equipment, preparing chemistry
labs, assisting in activities that use the labs, maintaining the laboratory fees budget,
and supervising undergraduate student workers.