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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.
Email: Hua.Zhao@unco.edu

Aaron Apawu, Assistant Professor, Ph.D., Wayne State University, Analytical Chemistry. Interactions of external environmental contaminants on brain chemistry.
Email: Aaron.Apawu@unco.edu

Corina Brown, Lecturer, Ph.D., University of Northern Colorado, Chemical Education. Biochemical education, assessment tools to measure student success in an academic setting, virtual reality labs, equity in chemistry , drug analyses.
Email: Corina.Brown@unco.edu

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 infrared database.
E-mail: Aichun.Dong@unco.edu

Bob Houser, Professor, Ph.D., University of Minnesota, Inorganic Chemistry. Synthetic inorganic chemistry, bioinorganic chemistry, coordination chemistry, coordination polymers.
E-mail: robert.houser@unco.edu

Michael D. Mosher, Professor, Ph.D., Texas Tech University, Organic Chemistry. Synthetic organic chemistry, heterocyclic chemistry of 2-isozazolines, acridine-based anti-cancer drug design, and organic reactions during the brewing process.
Email: Michael.Mosher@unco.edu

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.
E-mail: David.Pringle@unco.edu

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.
E-mail: Richard.Schwenz@unco.edu

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.
E-mail: Jerry.Suits@unco.edu

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.
E-mail: Murielle.Watzky@unco.edu

Melissa Weinrich, Assistant Professor, Ph.D., University of Arizona, Chemistry Education. Eye-movement modeling examples, eye-tracking, student conceptions in organic chemistry, organic assessment practices.
E-mail: Melissa.Weinrich@unco.edu


Adjunct Faculty

Stefanie Barnett, Adjunct Lecturer.  Stefanie teaches courses in the general chemistry, science education, and organic chemistry curriculum.
Email: stefanie.barnett@unco.edu

Alyssa Johnson, Adjunct Lecturer. Alyssa teaches courses in the general chemistry, science education, and organic chemistry curriculum.
Email: alyssa.johnson@unco.edu

Staff in 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.
Email: sean.johnson@unco.edu

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.
Email: scott.newkirk@unco.edu