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.
Name: May Nyman
Area of study / position title: Materials Inorganic Chemistry focused on aqueous inorganic clusters/Associate Professor
Why chemistry? (What about it initially interested you, etc.): My father was a naturalist and took us hiking to look at trees, birds, flowers, animals. But I only cared about the rocks and the sparkly minerals that made up the rocks. We went to the Smithsonian many times and I only wanted to see the gem and mineral collection. This steered me towards geology as an undergrad. Then I took mineralogy and learned how the arrangement of atoms in minerals control the shape, and how the periodic table controls the color and arrangement of the atoms; I was totally hooked on inorganic chemistry…not organic chemistry: that was the trees, birds, flowers and animals!
Research focus (in non-science terms) or basic job duties?: Discovering new ways to make materials from water. Some materials are simply to understand how molecules and atoms interact with each other in water, and some are help solve global energy and environmental issues.
One thing that you truly love about your job?: Top three things: I love discovering new chemistry that totally surprises me, I love writing about it to share these discoveries with the scientific community and the world, I love working with young scientist in training, and colleagues from all over the world.
One interesting/strange factoid about yourself.: What really makes me happy and sometimes gets me through those rainy Oregon days is international traditional music and dance. Now if only I can get the international scientists to dance with me, my circle would be complete.
Name: Paula Christie
Area of Study / Position Title: Asst. to The Chair / Office Manager
Why Chemistry? (What about it initially interested you, etc): I joined the chemistry department in 2009, it was quite a culture shock compared to managing the Physics office. After many years of working for both departments, it is good to call Chemistry my home.
Research focus (in non-science terms) or basic job duties?: Duties include: Assist the Department Chair and manage the Chemistry office. 🙂
One thing you truly love about your job?: I love working with people that have a true passion for what they do.
One interesting / strange factoid about yourself: I grew up on a small farm in Crabtree Oregon (population ~300 ) we raised sheep, pigs, cattle, rabbit and had 15 farm cats at one time.
Name: Vince Remcho
Area of Study / Position Title: Analytical Chemistry / Professor and Patricia Valian Reser Faculty Scholar
Why chemistry? (What about it initially interested you?): For me, it all started with a great summer job in high school: we developed analytical methods to determine the onset of dormancy in loblolly pine tree seedlings by quantifying polysaccharides. Following that, it was great mentorship from my undergraduate research advisor (Tom Sitz, a nucleic acid biochemist) and a true gentleman-scholar of a doctoral mentor (Harold McNair, a “founding father” of modern chromatography and chemical analysis).
Research focus (in non-science terms) or basic job duties? We design, model and build tools that solve complex biochemical and environmental chemical puzzles. Most of this involves microfluidics, a field that builds the chemical analogues to integrated circuit chips. For example, we have built “lab-on-a-chip” devices to detect antimalarial drug adulteration, measure disease biomarkers in biological fluids, synthesize genes and detect toxins in the environment.
One thing you truly love about your job? There are many things I love about my work! If I had to select only one, it would be the people I am fortunate enough to work with: inspiring and inventive graduate and undergraduate students, capable and accomplished postdocs, and wonderful collaborators whose abilities complement those of the group.
One interesting/strange factoid about yourself. I am an instrument rated commercial pilot; I also enjoy trail running – very long, quiet runs through the forest. (That’s two!)
Name: Paul Ha-Yeon Cheong
Area of study / position title: Computational Chemistry / Vicki and Patrick F. Stone Scholar Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Why chemistry? (What about it initially interested you, etc.): Because our discoveries change lives. Our materials send you to the moon and back, and one day they will send you to the stars. We conquer disease and master biology through chemistry. One day you will return to health again because of what we have labored so long and hard to achieve. From polio to cancer to all the diseases we acquire during our lifetime spent on this planet and this ecosystem, we are the ones who ultimately protect our loved ones. We are humanity’s answer and hope to the energy challenge, global warming, and preserving this green earth for posterity. And also because my mentors and teachers have shown me that we can achieve all that without losing our humanity but by cherishing it, nurturing it. One may very well ask why chemistry, but for me the question has always been why not chemistry?
Research focus (in non-science terms) or basic job duties?: I have two key aspects of my job. I see my primary job function as a friend, mentor and teacher to our research group and those around me. My goal is for their time in our research group and in my company to be transformative and wholesome: discovering who they really are, becoming professionally successful, and coming into one’s own. The second aspect is all my official responsibilities, which happens to magically complement the first aspect: publishing papers, teaching courses, mentoring students, writing grants, etc.
One thing that you truly love about your job?: I love that I get to make a positive impact in this world, one individual at a time. Plus, I get to work with (and occasionally mentor and train) some of the most amazing minds and wonderful individuals on the face of the planet today.
One interesting/strange factoid about yourself: I got my name “Paul” from a middle school foreign language teacher. He was handing back exams and when he got to mine, he couldn’t pronounce “Ha-Yeon”. After a couple of moments of what appeared like a gagging reflex trying to pronounce my name in his native tongue, he proclaimed that I was to be dubbed “Paul” from then on. True story. Love the name.
Name: Kim Thackray
Area of study / position title: Chemistry Ecampus Coordinator
Why chemistry? (What about it initially interested you, etc.) – Tell me a funny story
I have always loved Chemistry (I have a rusty undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering), so was thrilled to be able to join the Chemistry department staff. I understand what it is like to have acid holes in the front of all your jeans.
Research focus (in non-science terms) or basic job duties?
My main duties are—
* supporting the Ecampus faculty
* collecting and analyzing data to show the effectiveness of our program
* reviewing transcripts and managing override requests for Ecampus students
* working to grow our online program through marketing and outreach
One thing that you truly love about your job?
Our online students come from all over the world, and take our classes for a million different reasons. One thing I really love is talking with a potential student who doesn’t really know what they want, and helping them to understand our program and find a class that meets their needs. Turning a “potential student” into an “OSU student” gives me a thrill!
One interesting/strange factoid about yourself.
I lived in Barcelona for 4 years when my children were small.
Rich G. Carter
2. Area of study / position title
Organic Chemist, Professor and Chair of Chemistry
3. Why chemistry? (What about it initially interested you, etc.)
I became a chemist because of my high school chemistry teacher – Dr. Larry Puckett. Dr. Puckett made chemistry relatable and fun. He would let us go into lab and do cool experiments – I remember getting to generate hydrogen gas into balloons and then light them on fire. I was 18 and fire and explosions were obviously something that kids my age like!
4. Research focus (in non-science terms) or basic job duties?
My research group works on synthesizing molecules that contain carbon atoms. Many of these molecules have important biological functions and are made by nature already, but nature makes them in very small amounts. We also work on developing new reactions which helps to make our syntheses more efficient. I have recently been able to use my organic chemistry skills to start a new company which has been an amazing experience.
5. One thing that you truly love about your job?
Organic chemistry is the world’s greatest jigsaw puzzle. I love the challenge of trying to figure out how to put together a molecule by a series of reactions. I am also blessed to work with amazing students and colleagues.
6. One interesting/strange factoid about yourself.
That is impossible to answer! I love to travel and try new things, big technology nut, lived in Japan for 5 months, ride my bike every day rain or shine and have a wonderful family.
Name: Kristin Ziebart
Area of Study / Position Title: Instructor of Chemistry
Why chemistry? (What about it initially interested you?): I had a fantastic high school chemistry teacher, and it was because of her that I decided to major in chemistry. Chemistry allows me to understand the world around me – and I love explaining to students the “why” behind events that occur in daily life.
Research focus (in non-science terms) or basic job duties? I have been teaching general chemistry in the CH 12x series, both on-campus and online, for the past 2 years. I have also taught a few courses in organic chemistry, such as CH 331 and CH 337. In the coming year, I’ll be teaching the chemistry majors lab course (CH 361, CH 362). I’m looking forward to this new opportunity, not least because I’ll be team-teaching with the same professors that taught me as an undergraduate many years ago.
One thing you truly love about your job? The time I spend with my students, whether in office hours or the lecture hall, is the best part of every day. It’s very rewarding to see them achieve “aha!” moments.
One interesting/strange factoid about yourself. Breaking Bad is one of my favorite TV shows.
Name: Mark Warner
Area of Study / Position Title: Electrical Development Engineer
Why chemistry? (What about it initially interested you?):
Research focus (in non-science terms) or basic job duties? Develop, repair and specify electrical instruments.
One thing you truly love about your job? I get to visit many labs in Chemistry and Physics.
One interesting/strange factoid about yourself. I like to read books.