CIITN Conference 2001
The University of Missouri-Columbia
Friday - Sunday, September 21 - 23, 2001.

"The 'Chemistry is in the News' Project"

MU Participants

Dr. Rainer Glaser, Organizer, MU Chemistry
Dr. James Groccia, Organizer, MU Program of Excellence in Teaching
Dr. Marilyn Miller, Presenter, MU Program of Excellence in Teaching
Zhengyu "Martin" Wu, Dreyfus Graduate Student, MU Chemistry,
Nathan Knotts, Shuttle Bus Driver, Graduate Student, MU Chemistry
Brian Hodgen, Student Participant/Host, MU Chemistry
Karen Williams, Student Participant/Host, MU Biology
Marijane French, Student Participant, MU School of Journalism


Dr. Daniel ADSMOND
Assistant Professor
Ferris State University
Department of Physical Sciences
Big Rapids, MI 49307
Tel.: (231) 591-5867
My teaching style places heavy emphasis on problem-solving and cooperative learning, both in lecture & laboratory. I devote the Friday lecture hour entirely to group problem solving. ... but I have done little thus far to incorporate current events. I teach a 2-sem. org. course (60-100, mostly pre-opto. & pre-pharm) and a 1-sem org. course (20, mostly in med. tech. prog).
Department of Chemistry
Marshall University
Huntington, WV 25755
Tel.: (304) 696-6594
The "survival" rate in the OC two semester sequence is low. I am always looking for ways to get the student's attention and increase their interest level in the hopes that it will help them get through the course with a satisfactory grade. I would hope that CIITN 2001 gives me some ideas to try in those courses. I frequently teach the standard chem major-premed major organic course (50 - 80 students).
Dr. Dev ARYA
Assistant Professor
Department of Chemistry
Clemson University, SC 29634
Tel.: (864) 656-1106
I email my students links to C&E News/Science stories. Most students (bioscience majors) are excited about the relationship to real life problems/solutions. Making the connection, hopefully, will increase their interest in the subject. Sophomore Organic Chemistry (150 students)
Dr. Eric BOSCH
Assistant Professor
Department of Chemistry
Southwest Missouri St. U.
Springfield, MO 65804
Tel.: (417) 836-4277
Examples from everyday life spice up both courses and stimulate students interest. I hope to be able to incorporate this material in both courses. My teaching assignments are Org. Chem. I and II (80) and Chemistry in Context for non-science majors (80).
Dr. Robert S. COLEMAN
Department of Chemistry
The Ohio State University
100 West 18th Avenue
Columbus, Ohio 43210-1185
Tel.: (614) 292-4548
Tying course material to real life situations makes the subject less academic and more approachable for the students. It makes the material relevant. I teach the large undergraduate organic courses (250) and the Honors Organic Lab (15) to majors. Plus, I teach in the graduate organic synthesis sequence.
Dr. Joyce B. EASTER
Assistant Professor
Chemistry Department
Virginia Wesleyan College
Norfolk, VA 23502
Tel.: (757) 455-2126
Ideally, course concepts explain the phenomena in the world. The real-world examples are an excellent means of demonstrating these connections. In addition, all courses should work to improve the communication skills of the student. Reading, comprehending, and responding to newspaper articles achieves both these goals. Org. Chem. I & II (12-20 per sem.), Remedial Chem. (20-30) and Biochem. I & II (< 10).
Dr. Reza S. HERATI
Assistant Professor
Department of Chemistry
Southwest Missouri St. U.
Springfield, MO 65804
Tel.: (417) 836-____
As instructors we try to stimulate their interest by making organic chemistry understandable. Presenting materials related to real life situations should help students realize that what they are learning is indeed relevant, and should make the process of learning more enjoyable. I regularly teach Org. Chem. I (60) and II (50).
Dr. Kathleen KILWAY
Assistant Professor
Department of Chemistry
Univ. of Missouri-Kansas City
Kansas City, MO
Tel.: E-mail:
Students' knowledge is incredibly compartmentalized. The relationship of organic chemistry to real life would help the students to bring what they are learning in the classroom home. Hopefully, they will be able to retain it and be able to discern truth from sensationalism. I teach Org. Chem. I (120), Org. Chem. II (90), and two Org. Chem. Labs. (80). The classes are composed of pre-health, pharmacy, and science majors.
Dr. Charles "Chuck" KINGSBURY
Department of Chemistry
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Lincoln, NE 68588
My interests include cognition in students, curriculum revision, and (in research), reaction mechanisms, nmr and theoretical chemistry. I teach large sections of sophomore organic, a graduate course in reaction mechanisms, and very occasionally, a course in organic spectroscopy.
Dr. William R. KWOCHKA
Associate Professor
Dept. of Chemistry & Physics
Western Carolina University
Cullowhee, NC 28723
Tel.: (828) 227-3673
Most students dread taking organic chemistry almost as much as going to the dentist. I have tried a variety of means to make the chemistry more interesting and more relevant to their lives with different levels of success. It is my hope that the CIITN workshop will give me a more powerful tool in my chemistry toolbox. I teach the org. chem. sequence (Org. 1 & 2) every year (20-40). I also have 1-2 org. lab sect. each semester (<16/sect). Most of these students (in lecture and lab) are upper level biology and med. tech. students.
Dr. Carol Baker LIBBY
Adjunct Professor
Department of Chemistry
Moravian College
Bethlehem, PA 18018
Tel.: (610) 861-1629
I am interested in the "Chemistry is in the News" project because I will be using the Science Times section of The New York Times as the "text" for Writing 100. I teach Fundamentals of Chem. (20 nursing stud.), Org. Chem. Lab. (20-40), and Gen. Chem. Lab. (16-40). This fall I will be teaching 18 stud. in Writing 100, a freshman composition course.
Dr. Perry REEVES
Professor of Chemistry
Department of Chemistry
Abilene Christian University
Abilene, TX 79699
Org. chem. lends itself to this type of project because of the wide spread impact of pharmaceuticals, ind. chem., and rec. drugs. When these topics can be coupled with the lecture materials, student learning and satisfaction seems to increase. I teach Org. Chem. (60, science majors & pre-health stud.), Org. Chem. labs (60 per sem.), and "Teaching Science in the Elementary School" (40). Even in Org. Chem., fewer than 10% pursue a career in chemistry.
Professor of Biology
Dept. of Evol., Ecol., & Organismal Bio.
Introductory Biology Program
Ohio State University
Columbus, Ohio
Tel.: (614) 292-9861
There is a pressing need to increase scientific literacy among the general public. Therefore, I chose relevant topics involving aspects of the development of public policy in my introductory biology courses. I use a hands-on, student experiment and learning cycle approach in my lab and lecture classes. I also write a bi-weekly column "Biology and Society" in the Columbus Dispatch. Bio 101 (750 non-majors; survey course) and BIO 102 (400 non-majors; case studies course). The Introductory Biology Program which I direct enrolls 8,000 non-majors, majors and honors students per year.
Visiting Assistant Professor
Department of Chemistry
Univ. of Colorado at Denver
Denver, CO 80217
Tel.: (303) 556-6260
I try to incorporate current topics from the local papers, and from other news sources into my classroom, but want to expand this practice. Sophomore organic students (ca. 200).
Dr. Bradley D. SMITH
Professor of Chemistry
Department of Chemistry
University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, IN 46556
Tel.: (219) 631-8632
A colleague and I have developed TextRev, a new on-line survey system that allows one to gain information on how textbook resources are actually used by students and faculty. Our pilot survey of several thousand students enrolled in first-year general chemistry or sophomore organic chemistry classes has revealed some interesting results which will be reported at the Chicago ACS meeting. Sophomore organic chemistry, primarily for life science majors. Spectroscopy: see Org. Str. Elucidation Workbook: /~smithgrp /structure /workbook.html. Smith Home Page: /~bsmith3
Associate Professor
Dept. of Chemistry
University of Missouri-Rolla
Rolla, MO 65409
Tel.: (573) 341-4353
I am looking forward to implementing the "Chemistry is in the News" into my lectures in order to stimulate students' interest in organic chemistry and help them better understand the connection of org. chem. with their everyday lives. I teach org. chem. I (70, mostly engineering students), adv. org. lab (10), adv. synthetic org. (10), and adv. physical org. (10).
Dr. Karen C. ("Casey") WEAVER
Assistant Professor
Department of Chemistry
University of Central Arkansas
Conway, AR 72035
Tel.: (501) 450-5943
In addition to the application of CIITN to the general education course, I do want to learn about applying this to my organic course. It'll be interesting to compare the two. Also, I figure it may well spill over into the other main course I teach (general chemistry for nursing and allied health majors). ANYTHING that can get students to relate chemistry to their own lives will help them become better students, and (I hope) ultimately better citizens. I teach in our two-sem. org. sequence for students who major in chemistry, biology, pre-professional tracks (pre-med, pre-dental, etc.), or environmental science (chemistry or biology track). I typically have 42-48 students, divided into two lab sections each semester during the school year, and 22-24 in a summer term.

The CIITN 2001 Conference is made possible by a grant from The Camille & Henry Dreyfus Foundation and matching funds generously provided by the PRIME Fund of the University of Missouri and the MU Department of Chemistry.