joined Bretz Group in August 2008
B.S. Mount Union College
M.A. Baldwin Wallace College
Ph.D. Miami University, 2013
Dissertation: Students’ Misconceptions about Intermolecular Forces as Investigated thorugh Paper Chromatography Experiments and the Molecular Attractions Concept Inventory.
Students' misconceptions about intermolecular forces have arisen within the context of studying chemical bonding. My research investigates these misconceptions through the lens of chromatography. My current research questions are 1) How do students explain paper chromatography? and 2) What student misconceptions exist about intermolecular forces? A mixed-methods approach has been designed. Both pilot study and full study interviews were completed, transcribed, adn analyzed for student understanding of intermolecular forces through paper chromatography experiments. From this analysis, a concept inventory, the Molecular Attractions Concept Inventory (MACI), was developed which uses student comments as distractors. MACI was pilot tested with general chemistry students and the revised for administration in high school chemistry courses throughout the U.S. Various methods have been employed to establish the reliability and validity of the data generated by MACI. Data collection with a national sample of general chemistry students took place during the 2012-2013 school year.
Cognate Research: Preparation and Characterization of a Polymeric Monolithic Column for Use in an Undergraduate Analytical Chemistry Laboratory Course.
A laboratory experiment was developed for an undergraduate analytical instrumentation course. Students prepared and tested a polymer-based monolithic column for use in high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Students prepared a column inside poly(ether ether ketone) PEEK tubing by reacting butyl methacrylate and ethylene glycol dimethacrylate in a solvent matrix consisting of water, 1-propoanol, and 1,4-butanediol. Experiments to test the column included 1) separation of toluene and naphthalene using methanol/water as the mobile phase, 2) separation of thiamine from riboflavin using an ion-pairing reagent, and 3) measuring the column effiiciency using plate count and van Deemter plots. A manuscript was published in the Journal of Chemical Education.