Name: Michelle Dolgos

Area of study / position title:  Materials Chemistry, Assistant Professor

Why chemistry? (What about it initially interested you, etc.)  My path to chemistry was fairly long.  I always loved science and my first career choice as a child was an astronomer, then a pathologist, then a geologist, then a marine biologist (even though I had never seen the ocean or been on a boat).  When I started college, I wanted to go to medical school like everyone else who is interested in science, but I got bored with all the biology classes.  I loved my general chemistry class, so decided to switch majors.  Then, my sophomore year, I almost left the chemistry profession because of Organic Chemistry, but decided to stick it out for one more semester and just get a minor if I decided it wasn’t my thing.   I ended up taking P-chem next and fell back in love with chemistry.  I decided to stay in the field, and I’m happy that I did.

Research focus (in non-science terms) or basic job duties?  My research focus is trying to understand how the structure of a material relates to the properties.  Then once we gain that knowledge for a particular system, we can rationally design new materials with improved properties. I consider myself a solid state chemist, but I have been known to work with thin films or amorphous materials on occasion.

One thing that you truly love about your job?  Writing grant proposals.  Just kidding.  I love working with grad students and watching them develop from student to scientist.

One interesting/strange factoid about yourself.  I am a loyal watcher of a certain daytime soap opera, which people are surprised by for some reason.   Also, I enjoy torturing myself doing Shawn T’s Insanity workouts every morning.

We are looking for STEM graduate students and undergraduates interested in grad school in STEM fields for a Psychology study at Oregon State University. The study involves a grad and an undergrad from the same discipline talking about the undergrad’s prospects for graduate school. We are asking grads to participate 3-5 times (with different undergrads); undergrads can participate once. Each session takes 1-1.5 hours and participants are paid $13-16/hr (grads get the higher rate). We’ll work every way we can to accommodate people’s schedules. Please for more information or to participate.

John Shelby is a high school Chemistry teacher in New York City. We asked John, “Why did you take an online class from OSU’s Chemistry department?

I am fascinated by the details of how the world works, and this is what led to my interest in chemistry. In my work as a naturopathic physician, I used knowledge about the composition and interaction of different compounds on a daily basis. When I decided to shift gears to devote myself to teaching high school in the poorest congressional district in the country, I was instantly drawn to teach chemistry. Sometimes it is hard to feel that I am making a difference, but every now and then a graduated student will return and tell me they have done well in their college chemistry class, thanks to what we studied together. That experience really goes a long way.

When I needed to accumulate a few more chemistry credits for my New York teaching license, I had a very difficult time finding classes to take. It was easy enough to find General Chemistry or Organic Chemistry being offered on evenings or weekends so that I could work around my teaching schedule, but more advanced classes did not seem to be available. For two years I tried to find courses that would satisfy the requirements, to no avail. I was very happy, therefore, to find Oregon State’s Ecampus Chemistry program. I had concerns about online classes because of a bad experience in the past, but after corresponding with Professor Lerner, I was reassured that his Inorganic Chemistry class would be different.

I was extremely pleased with the level and quality of instruction provided by Professor Lerner. In his classes, each lecture was available through audio download and the lecture slides were also provided. I found the course to be quite challenging and very interesting. I can honestly say that I see the world differently as a result of this sequence of classes. I ended up taking both CH 411 and CH 412 from Dr. Lerner.

Outside of teaching, I enjoy spending time with my wife Lucia and my cat Pushkin. I play guitar and harmonica and I really like spending time in Central Park.


OSU’s President’s Commission on the Status of Women (PCOSW) is offering funds to cover registration costs for OSU Faculty, Staff, and Students to attend the 2015 Oregon Women in Higher Education (OWHE) conference in Bend, Jan. 22-23, 2015. To apply, please complete the Application Form no later than Sunday, Nov. 23. Questions? Contact: Natalia Fernández

Four Search Advocate full-day workshops are now available!  Be prepared to work with search committees by completing this workshop covering strategies to enhance validity, fairness, and diversity in the search process.  Instead of requiring the typical two-workshop series (totaling ten hours), this workshop is a single day ( 8 am to 5 pm, breakfast and lunch included).  Register at the OSU Professional Development website for one of the following offerings: Dec. 1 in Clatskanie, Dec. 15 or 17 in Corvallis, or Jan. 9 at North Willamette Research and Extension Center.  Questions?  Contact Anne Gillies, 541-737-0865.

I am pleased to announce a call for proposals for
individual Learning Innovation Grants to help faculty bring innovation through technology to the learning experience.

Faculty are invited to apply for grants of up to
$10,000 for educational technology that improves the student experience in courses, in informal learning experiences, or in student life.

Grant guidelines and information about how to apply
can be found at
Proposals are due by December 18, 2014.

An informational session will be held on Friday,
November 21, 1-2pm, in Kidder 202
to answer questions you may have about these grants. You will also be able to participate remotely

Ordinary People, Extraordinary Change

Do you know of a student, faculty or staff member who enriches our OSU community in the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King?

Join us in acknowledging individuals who work to create inclusive communities and support diversity at OSU. We welcome nominations for recipients of our two community awards which are recognized yearly at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Peace Breakfast in January.  The two awards include:

·      The Frances Dancy Hooks Award recognizes students, staff, or faculty who embody Frances Dancy Hooks’ work of building bridges across cultures, showing courage in promoting diversity, and “walking the talk” proudly;

·      Phyllis S. Lee Award honors a member of the OSU community who exemplifies Dr. Lee’s commitment and dedication to social justice and the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

We are requesting that nominations be submitted by December 10th, 2014. To find out more information or to submit a nomination visit:  Frances Dancy Hooks and Phyllis S. Lee Award Information and Nomination Page

The OSU Homestay Program is seeking local families to share their Thanksgiving festivities with international students.  Applications are currently available at   Hosting application deadline is Tuesday, Nov. 18 at 5 p.m.  Hosts will be informed of student placement Monday, Nov. 24.  If you have any questions, please contact