Chemistry Faculty

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Leonard Demoranville

Photo of  Leonard  Demoranville
Assistant Professor of Chemistry • Chair of Natural Science Program Chemistry Address Olin Hall—218 Phone: 859.238.6066
Biography

Leonard Demoranville joined the Centre faculty in 2012 as visiting assistant professor of chemistry.

Before coming to Centre, Demoranville spent time as a National Research Council Post-Doctoral Fellow at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. His research there focused on the trace detection of illicit drugs using ion mobility and mass spectrometry. During his graduate work, he participated in the University of Maryland University Teaching and Learning Program, which trains future faculty members in the scholarship of teaching and learning. This led to his selection as a Lilly Graduate Teaching Fellow.

Demoranville received a B.S. from Eastern Nazarene College, and a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland-College Park.

Email Leonard Demoranville at leonard.demoranville@centre.edu.

Email: leonard.demoranville@centre.edu

File last updated: 5/2/13

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Jeffrey Fieberg

Photo of  Jeffrey  Fieberg
John C. Walkup Professor of Chemistry Chemistry Address Olin Hall—215 Phone: 859.238.5875
Biography

Jeffrey Fieberg joined the faculty at Centre College in 2005 and was promoted to associate professor of chemistry in 2008 and to John C. Walkup professor of Chemistry in 2017. Prior to joining Centre’s faculty, he taught at Hillsdale College (1998–2001) and Jeffrey Fieberg joined the faculty at Centre College in 2005, was promoted to associate professor of chemistry in 2008, and named the John C. Walkup Professor of Chemistry in 2017. Prior to joining Centre’s faculty in 2005, he taught at Hillsdale College (1998–2001) and Georgetown College (2001–2005), where he won the John Walker Manning Distinguished Mentor and Teacher Award in 2003.

Raised in Kirkwood, Missouri, Fieberg graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a B.S. in chemical physics from Centre College. He received his M.S. in chemistry from the University of Illinois and his Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Texas. His Ph.D. research focused on the photochemistry of molecules adsorbed on metal surfaces. Fieberg has been published in such journals as Chemical Physics Letters, Journal of Chemical Physics, Surface Science, Journal of Physical Chemistry, Journal of the Chemical Society, Faraday Transactions, Journal of Chemical Education and Applied Spectroscopy.

Fieberg’s current research interests are in technical art historical investigations of modernist paintings and analysis of artists’ materials. In 2011-2012, he participated as the first Sabbatical Leave Research Fellow in Technical Art History at the Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA). Working in the Conservation Science Laboratory directed by Gregory Smith ’95, Ph.D., technical analyses of paintings from the IMA’s European collection were performed using x-ray fluorescence spectroscopy, Raman microspectroscopy, and infrared microspectroscopy. The paintings analyzed included Mysterious Departure by Giorgio de Chirico, Jupiter with Thunderbolt, attributed to a follower of Jacob Jordaens, and the Cincinnati Art Museum’s Undergrowth with Two Figures by Vincent van Gogh (http://journals.sagepub.com/toc/aspc/71/5). Fieberg frequently returns to the IMA, where he has helped to investigate the IMA’s Van Gogh painting, Landscape at Saint-Rémy.

Fieberg frequently teaches General Chemistry, Quantum Chemistry and Spectroscopy, Thermodynamics and Kinetics, and Natural Science. Fieberg is an energetic teacher. In his introductory classes, he performs demonstrations almost daily in class. Fieberg has received several awards, including the Kirk Award for Excellence in Teaching (2007), the C. Eric Mount Jr. Student Appreciation Award (2007), the Outstanding Professor Award from Greek Life (2008 and 2009), and the David Hughes Award for Excellence in Teaching and Service (2010). He was named a Centre Scholar in 2008 and 2014. He was selected co-Most Dramatic Professor in Kentucky by Kentucky Monthly in 2010.

As a Centre student, Fieberg studied art, architecture and music abroad in Paris, Florence, Munich, and Amsterdam. Fieberg is a staunch advocate of the transformational experiences gained by studying abroad, and he has led both semester programs and short-term travel courses in Europe. Fieberg co-directed the Centre-in-London program in 2010 where he taught Chemistry in Art and British Scientists: Standing on the Shoulders of Giants. Fieberg directed the Centre-in-Strasbourg program for the 2013-14 academic year and is directing the Strasbourg program for the 2017-18 academic year.

Fieberg’s signature class, Molecular Modernism, is a truly interdisciplinary mix of science and art. He has taught Molecular Modernism: Monet to Mondrian as a first-year studies course with field trips to museums and conservation labs in Washington D.C., Indianapolis and Chicago. For CentreTerms 2013 and 2017, he taught Molecular Modernism: Manet to Matisse as a three-week travel course in Paris and Southern France. In Strasbourg, Fieberg teaches Molecular Modernism: Manet to Marc, which includes visits to museums in France, Germany and Switzerland. In addition, Fieberg offers Chemical Analysis of Modernist Paintings as an upper-level elective for chemistry majors and minors.

Fieberg is highly active on campus; he has chaired the Chemistry Program, Natural Science Program, and the Committee on Tenure and Reappointment. He serves as the faculty advisor for the social fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon. In the past, he has served as the faculty liaison for the Centre softball team and as the faculty advisor for the American Chemical Society. Fieberg is heavily invested in community outreach as he frequently performs chemistry demonstration shows at local schools with Centre students.

Email: jeff.fieberg@centre.edu

File last updated: 9/8/17

Kristen Fulfer

Photo of  Kristen  Fulfer
Assistant Professor of Chemistry Centre CollegeDivision III Address Olin - 216
Biography

Kristen Fulfer is an assistant professor of chemistry. She joined Centre’s faculty in 2017.

Before coming to Centre, Fulfer earned a B.S. in chemistry and mathematics from Texas State University and then continued on to study for her Ph.D. in chemistry at Louisiana State University. Her Ph.D. work focused on using electronic spectroscopy to explore electron rescattering phenomena occurring during photoionization and photorecombination processes under the guidance of Erwin Poliakoff. Fulfer continued on as a postdoctoral fellow at Louisiana State University in the lab of Daniel Kuroda, where she used infrared spectroscopy to study the structure and dynamics of carbonate-based lithium-ion battery electrolytes. Fulfer’s current research interests include utilizing infrared spectroscopy to explore the structure and energetics of interesting solutions.”

Email: kristen.fulfer@centre.edu

File last updated: 8/21/17

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January Haile

Photo of  January  Haile
Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry & Molecular Biology • Physician Assistant Advisor • Chair of the Chemistry Program Chemistry, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Address Office: Young Hall—119 Phone: 859.238.5880
Biography

January Haile is an associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry and molecular biology. She joined Centre’s faculty in 2008 and was named a Centre Scholar in 2012.

Before coming to Centre, Haile was a research mentor at Virginia Tech, and taught as a supplemental instructor at Emory and Henry College. In 2013, she received Virginia Tech’s Outstanding Departmental Recent Alumni Award for biochemistry. She was invited to attend the 56th annual meeting of the Nobel Laureates and Students in 2006.

She graduated summa cum laude from Emory and Henry College with a B.S in biology and chemistry, where she was President of Beta Beta Beta Biological Honors Society her senior year. She earned a Ph.D. in biochemistry at Virginia Tech.

Email: january.haile@centre.edu

File last updated: 8/27/15

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J. Preston Miles

Photo of  J. Preston  Miles
John C. Walkup Professor of Chemistry Chemistry Address Olin Hall—243 Phone: 859.238.5414 Website: Personal Website:
Biography

Preston Miles is professor of chemistry at Centre College, where he has taught since 1981. He has held the Walkup Professorship of Chemistry since 1997, and has served as chair of the natural science program.

Miles is an analytical chemist who worked in research and development in private industry before joining the Centre faculty. He is deeply committed to getting Centre students involved in collaborative research. His research has focused on the development and application of methods for trace level analyses. Current projects include the determination of toxic heavy metals in woody plant materials, the determination of cortisol in urine and feces from both captive and wild wooly monkey populations, and most recently, the determination of PPCP’s in surface waters.

The PPCP compounds (pharmaceutical and personal care products) represent a category of potential environmental concern. Recent discoveries (Science News, April 2000, Environmental Science and Technology, February 2002) suggest that these compounds occur at levels and frequencies much higher than previously anticipated. Miles and his student collaborators are currently working on developing and validating sample preparation and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry methods for some of these compounds.

Miles has developed a number of successful grant proposals on behalf of the sciences at Centre. He holds a B.A. from Centre and earned a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from the University of Kentucky.

Email: preston.miles@centre.edu

File last updated: 8/5/13

Notes

EXPERT: Analytical chemistry — Trace level analysis — Science education and importance of basic research

An analytical chemist who worked in research and development in private industry before joining the Centre faculty. Deeply committed to collaborative research bringing together students and faculty. Recent research with a Centre student investigating how temperature affects the solubility of a form of carbon molecule known as carbon 60 or C-60 (“fullerenes”). He has developed a number of successful grant proposals on behalf of the sciences at Centre.

H. Edward Montgomery, Jr.

Photo of  H. Edward  Montgomery, Jr.
Professor of Chemistry Chemistry Address Olin Hall—217 Phone: 859.238.5731
Biography

Ed Montgomery joined the Centre College faculty in 2000. Prior to that, he served 28 years on active duty in the United States Navy, retiring in October 1999 with the rank of Captain. Montgomery was principally assigned to construction, overhaul and repair of nuclear-powered submarines. He served on USS JOHN ADAMS (SSBN 620) Blue, at the Philadelphia and Charleston Naval Shipyards and on the materiel staff of Commander Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet. He also spent two years on the chemistry faculty of the United States Naval Academy where he taught general and physical chemistry.

In February 1985 Montgomery reported to the submarine tender USS PROTEUS (AS 19) in Guam as Repair Officer. During his tour, PROTEUS completed six Western Pacific deployments and won the Battle Efficiency “R.”

Returning from overseas duty in 1988, he was assigned to the Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Groton, Connecticut, as Project Officer for construction of attack submarines. In March 1991 he transferred to Naval Sea Systems Command Headquarters as Assistant Program Manager for attack submarine construction. While in this position, he was assigned additional duty with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration where he received a Group Achievement Award for his work on the Space Station Requirements Team.

In August 1994, Montgomery returned to Groton as the Supervisor of Shipbuilding. During his three years in command, six submarines were delivered to the Navy. These included the first SEAWOLF (SSN 21) class submarine and the final Trident submarine, USS LOUISIANA (SSBN 743). In 1997, his command was one of five Executive Department recipients of the National Partnership Council “Silver Eagle” for Labor-Management teaming.

His last assignment before retirement was Chief of Staff of the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, the Navy’s research, development, test and evaluation center for submarines, autonomous underwater vehicles and undersea weapons systems.

His military awards include the Legion of Merit (two awards), Meritorious Service Medal (four awards), the Navy Commendation Medal and the Strategic Deterrent Patrol pin.

Montgomery’s research concentrates on theoretical chemistry with an emphasis on accurate calculation of the electronic properties of small quantum systems. Recognized as an expert on computational methods, he collaborates with research groups in India, Mexico, Russia, Hungary and Israel. His research has been published in the Journal of Chemical Physics, Physica Scripta, Physics Letters, International Journal of Quantum Chemistry, Theoretical Chemistry Accounts and the Journal of Mathematical Physics and as invited book chapters in Theory of Confined Quantum Systems and in Electronic Structure of Quantum Confined Atoms and Molecules. He has also authored or co-authored educational papers on quantum chemistry in the Journal of Chemical Education, European Journal of Physics and The Chemical Educator. His publications include six papers written with undergraduate co-authors.

Montgomery also has a particular interest in using NASCAR as a means of introducing physics and chemistry to non-scientists and has incorporated this material in a first-year studies course.

A native of Lancaster, Kentucky, Dr. Montgomery graduated from Berea College in 1968 and earned a Ph.D. in Chemical Physics from the University of Kentucky in 1971. He is also a graduate of the Submarine Officer Basic Course and the Program Management Course of the Defense Systems Management College, Ft. Belvoir, Virginia. Montgomery is a member of the American Chemical Society, the Naval Submarine League, the Society of Sigma Xi and Phi Kappa Phi.

Email: ed.montgomery@centre.edu

File last updated: 8/9/16

Jennifer L. Muzyka

Photo of  Jennifer L. Muzyka
H. W. Stodghill, Jr. and Adele H. Stodghill Professor of Chemistry Chemistry Address Olin—214 Phone: 859.238.5413 Website: Organic Chemistry
Biography

Jennifer Muzyka is H. W. Stodghill, Jr. and Adele H. Stodghill Professor of Chemistry at Centre College, where she has taught since 1994.

An organic chemist, Muzyka is committed to working with her Centre students in collaborative research. Her current research involves the structure-based drug design of potential antibiotics, with focus on inhibiting the bacterial enzyme MurA. In 2013-14 she worked with Luke Presson ’16 and Daniel Graham ’16 on computational studies of the enzyme. Griffin Cote ’16, Josh Winner ’14, and Leila Samhat ’16 synthesized potential inhibitors for the enzyme.

Muzyka develops web-based applications such as the Spectral Zoo and the Reaction Zoo to help students learn organic chemistry. Muzyka’s presentations at the Biennial Conference on Chemical Education as well as hit counters on these sites show that faculty and students at other institutions find these tools useful. This year she organized a symposium on the Flipped Classroom for the 2014 Biennial Conference on Chemical Education, which was very popular among attendees.

Muzyka has published her research in scholarly journals including the Journal of Organic Chemistry, Journal of Physical Chemistry, and Journal of Chemical Education.

Muzyka received her B.S. from the University of Dallas and her Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Texas at Austin.

Email: jennifer.muzyka@centre.edu

File last updated: 08/12/14

Notes

EXPERT: Organic chemistry — Chemical education — Computational chemistry — Structure-based drug discovery

An organic chemist working on a collaborative interdisciplinary team to discover inhibitors of MurA, a bacterial enzyme important in the synthesis of cell walls. Committed to working with students in collaborative research. Develops web-based applications to help students learn organic chemistry.

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Kerry Paumi

Photo of  Kerry  Paumi
Assistant Professor of Chemistry • Pharmacy School Advisor • Chair of Global Commerce Program Chemistry Address Young Hall—116 Phone: 859.238.5324
Biography

Kerry Paumi is an assistant professor of chemistry. She was named a Centre Scholar in 2015, a two-year appointment recognizing teaching excellence, scholarship, and contributions to the Centre community.

Before coming to Centre in 2009, Paumi was an adjunct professor of chemistry at Stevenson University. Most recently, she was an instructor in the chemistry department at the University of Kentucky and a visiting scientist in the Graduate Center of Toxicology at U.K.’s School of Medicine, where she completed research in the field of drug detoxification.

Paumi earned a B.S. in chemistry from Gettysburg College, and a Ph.D. from Wake Forest University. She continued her post doctoral training at Wake Forest University School of Medicine in the biochemistry department, and at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in the pharmacology department. Her work has been published in Organometallics, the Journal of the American Chemical Society, and Nature.

Email: kerry.paumi@centre.edu

File last updated: 06/05/15

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Daniel Scott

Photo of  Daniel  Scott
Assistant Professor of Chemistry Centre CollegeDivision III Address Olin - 217
Biography

Daniel Scott joined the Centre College faculty as assistant professor of chemistry in 2017.

Scott earned a B.S. in chemistry from Georgetown College, and a Ph.D. in bioanalytical chemistry from the University of Kentucky.

Email: daniel.scott@centre.edu

File last updated: 6/21/17

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Erin Wachter

Photo of  Erin  Wachter
Visiting Assistant Professor of Chemistry Centre College Address Olin—215 Phone: 859.238.5875
Biography

Erin Wachter joined the Centre College faculty in 2016 as visiting assistant professor of chemistry.

Wachter earned a B.S. in chemistry from Saint Vincent College, and a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Kentucky.

Email: erin.wachter@centre.edu

Joe Workman

Photo of  Joe  Workman
Professor of Chemistry • Chief Health Professions Advisor • Medical School Advisor Chemistry Address Young Hall—117 Phone: 859.238.5415 Website: web.centre.edu/workmanj/
Biography

Joe Workman is professor of chemistry, having taught at Centre since 1993. He currently is pursuing research in igneous petrology and geochemistry. He has projects in two areas: single crystal laser fluorination analysis of volcanic rocks for oxygen isotopes from Iceland and Cascades volcanoes to investigate magma origin and the investigation of mass-independent isotope effects of oxygen and sulfur isotopes in volcanic sulfate as a tool to understand the destiny of volcanic plumes and their interaction with the upper atmosphere.

Workman is committed to involving students in research and has collaborated with students in research teams in many summers since coming to Centre. In the 2001-02 academic year, Workman was a visiting research professor at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, where he did work in organometallic chemistry. In 2007-08, Workman was a visiting professor at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia doing research in green chemistry.

In January 2004 he led a group of 34 Centre students to New Zealand to study the physical science of volcanoes. He has subsequently led students in New Zealand studying volcanoes in 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, and will again in 2014.

Workman also serves as academic advisor to students interested in pre-medical studies, and he has assisted students with MCAT study sessions and field trips to major medical schools. Workman is an energetic teacher and played a leadership role in Centre’s successful efforts to secure a high field nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometer, which is accessible to students for study and research.

Workman holds a B.S. from Santa Clara University, and he earned a Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University.

Email: joe.workman@centre.edu

File last updated: 10/17/13

Notes

EXPERT: Inorganic chemistry — Liquid crystals — Advisement for pre-medical students

Inorganic chemist with expertise on liquid crystals. Currently investigating a relatively new form of liquid crystal that contains metal ions. Has collaborated with students in research teams each summer since coming to Centre; his former students have won awards including Fulbright Scholarships. Academic advisor to students interested in pre-medical studies. Helped Centre secure a high field nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometer.

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Karin Young

Photo of  Karin  Young
Assistant Professor of Chemistry Chemistry Address Young Hall—115B Phone: 859.238.5323
Biography

Karin (Kari) Young joined the faculty at Centre College in 2013 as an assistant professor of chemistry. She was named a Centre Scholar in 2016.
Young teaches courses in general chemistry and inorganic chemistry. She is particularly interested in developing meaningful laboratory exercises for students in inorganic chemistry. Young also teaches courses in alternative energy technology, which are inspired by her graduate work on artificial photosynthesis for solar energy applications. In CentreTerm 2015, Young teamed up with Professor Ellen Swanson to teach students about wind, solar, and hydroelectric power. The course included a visit to the Mother Ann Lee Hydroelectric Station, which generates the Renewable Energy Credits purchased by the student green fund.
She also has a special interest in how nature uses iron and manganese centers to catalyze important oxidation reactions. At Centre, Young and her students are studying a family of iron, manganese, and cobalt complexes as catalysts for the oxidation of lignin model compounds. Lignin is a complex biopolymer found in wood and is commonly seen as the “brown” in brown paper bags that is bleached (chemically degraded) to make white paper. Because lignin has an irregular structure and is difficult to oxidize, harsh chemical methods are used in the paper industry. However, the enzymes lignin peroxidase and manganese peroxidase, which are produced by the white-rot fungus and are known to degrade lignin in wood, use iron or manganese and benign oxidizing agents to complete the lignin oxidation reactions. Our goal is use this inspiration from nature to study new, synthetic catalysts that might make the paper bleaching process greener by using less energy and producing fewer waste products.
Originally from Texas, Young graduated magna cum laude from the University of Tulsa with a B.A. in chemistry and English, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She subsequently earned an M.S. in chemistry and a Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from Yale University, advised by Gary W. Brudvig.

Email: karin.young@centre.edu

File last updated: 8/30/16

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