University of Wisconsin-Stevens PointI earned my Bachelor of Science in Chemistry (ACS Certified) from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. UWSP has an excellent Chemistry program with more faculty that many small graduate programs. My first research project was under the guidance of Dr. Steve Bondeson looking at the dynamics of acetonitrile mixtures by Electron Paramagnetic Resonance spectroscopy. Although we weren't successful in answer the questions we wanted to answer, it was a very useful project and a few years later another group published a study that addressed the same system. I also worked on a few service-oriented projects with Dr. C. Marv Lang looking at display case experiments and the reclamation of silver from aqueous waste produced in various lab courses. In addition to my chemistry major, I also earned a minor in mathematics. I really enjoyed exploring the connections between analytical geometry, group theory, spectroscopy, and synthetic chemistry, and continue to marvel at the symmetry of the natural world.

Graduate School:
University of MichiganAfter completing my BS degree, I moved on to the University of Michigan for graduate school. I thought I wanted to study physical chemistry, but came to realize that all of the aspects of physical chemistry I loved were actually related to inorganic chemistry. I also liked that inorganic chemistry took advantage of organic synthesis (ligand design and synthesis) and a comprehensive array of analytical techniques. In most ways, inorganic chemistry is the most diverse field of chemistry, especially transition metal coordination chemistry. My graduate mentor was Dr. Vincent L. Pecoraro and I worked on copper(II) beta-aminohydroximate metallacrowns. This graduate work continued my trend for a broad foundation in chemistry; the majority of the Pecoraro group worked on bioinorganic projects so I gained exposure to to biological side of chemistry, but my project was more materials science oriented.

Post-Doctoral Training:
Michigan State UniversityFollowing my graduate work, I took a position as a Visiting Research Associate with Dr. James K. McCusker at Michigan State University. Jim is a physical inorganic chemist who studies electron transfer and molecular mechanics using nanosecond and femtosecond laser spectroscopy. My project involved the design and synthesis of manganese dimers coupled to electron-transfer partners to explore the dynamics of electron transfer coupled to the redox chemistry of the manganese dimers. This was another opportunity for me to broaden my experience as an inorganic chemist to include a much more theoretical and physical project.