People

Faculty

Chemistry Chair, Professor of Chemistry
Maria Alexandra Gomez and her research students use the principles of thermodynamics, statistical mechanics, and quantum mechanics to study how structure affects proton and oxygen vacancy conduction in fuel cell systems. Their work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the MERCURY consortium, the Dreyfus Foundation, and the Research Corporation. Maria enjoys teaching chemical principles in general chemistry, physical chemistry, and electives. Maria and her students also enjoy getting K-6 parent/child teams to tackle interesting scientific ideas through the Chemistry Passport Program.
413-538-2868
Carr Laboratory G22C
Contact
not posted
Kyle Broaders, Professor of Chemistry
Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Kyle Broaders' research interests focus on the interaction of living cells with their material surroundings. He employs the tools of organic synthesis to prepare materials with tailored properties like shape, stiffness, permeability, or response to external stimulus. The responses of cells to these designed properties allows him to assay the way they integrate information about their surroundings and make behavioral choices.
413-538-3658
G22A Carr Laboratory
Contact
not posted
Bertha Phillips Rodger Professor of Chemistry
Sheila E. Browne is a physical organic chemist whose current research involves monitoring the biosynthesis and biodegradation of bacterial polyesters in vivo using 13C NMR. Since coming to Mount Holyoke in 1976, Browne has mentored more than 83 students during their independent research projects. More than 40 percent of those students were women of color. In 1998, in recognition of her many years of mentoring students at all levels, Browne received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring. Browne was the first member of her family to graduate from high school; her generosity toward others and her verve perhaps stem from her firsthand knowledge of what it's like to go to college on scholarship and to be a minority, as she was one of only two women and the only one of Native American heritage in her entering Ph.D. class of 140 at the University of California, Berkeley.
413-538-2020
G02B Carr Laboratory
Contact
not posted
Marilyn Dawson Sarles, M.D. Professor of Chemistry
The primary research goal of our group is to use materials chemistry to understand and impart important surface phenomena, such as wetting and biocompatibility of polymeric and inorganic substrates. The selected projects are contemporary, relevant in the field, and feasible for undergraduate researchers. Tools in organic, analytical, bio-, physical chemistry are employed in our interdisciplinary research program.
413-538-2224
G22D Carr Laboratory
Contact
not posted
on leave 2014-2015, Associate Professor of Chemistry
Donald Cotter's scientific research focuses on the mechanism of transmetalation. Recently, he has turned his scholarly attentions to the study the history of chemistry, focusing on the American chemical community between 1890 and 1920. Cotter is the author of numerous scholarly papers and presentations, many of them coauthored by Mount Holyoke students.
413-538-2120
218A Clapp Laboratory
Contact
not posted
Darren G. Hamilton, Professor of Chemistry
Professor of Chemistry
Darren Hamilton works with students on a variety of projects that use the tools of synthetic organic chemistry to prepare molecular systems with designed properties or functions. Hamilton and his student protégées are preparing molecular systems that can bind and transport, or bind and recognize, a species of interest. Current projects in this area involve the preparation of transport systems for metal ions employed in medical imaging techniques, as well as the development of a prototype molecular construct for carbohydrate recognition. His research with undergraduate students has been published most recently in the Journal of Organic Chemistry, Crystal Growth and Design, and the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
413-538-3427
G02A Carr Laboratory
Contact
not posted
Kathryn A. McMenimen, Claire Boothe Luce Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Claire Boothe Luce Assistant Professor of Chemistry
I am generally interested in the chemical interactions that underlie biological systems. We use tools at the interface of chemistry, biochemistry, neuroscience, and biophysics to study one type of molecular chaperone, the small heat shock proteins. I am particularly interested in protein homeostasis and how dysfunction of molecular chaperones contributes to protein misfolding diseases, such as, cataracts, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and other neurological diseases.
413-538-3375
G22B Carr Laboratory
Contact
not posted
Gary Snyder, Professor of Chemistry
Visiting Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Gary Snyder's research focuses on the synthesis and spectroscopic detection of new molecules. Several years ago, in collaboration with Jakob Wirz (Univ. Basel), Snyder and a former Univ. of Chicago graduate student, Dan McMasters, succeeded in making the only known Kekulé biradical. By using a new ab initio computational method, RASSCF-RASPT2, Snyder has since identified several other small hydrocarbons that should also leave two π-electrons unpaired and prefer to exist in a paramagnetic form.
413-538-3262
G02D Carr Laboratory
Contact
not posted
Alan van Giessen, Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Alan van Giessen

Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Professor van Giessen teaches a wide range of courses including both general chemistry and physical chemistry and including a seminar course entitled “Poisons: Death by Chemistry”. van Giessen uses theoretical and computational techniques to understand the structure and thermodynamics of both complex and simple systems. His research focus has focused on the destabilization of a test protein and its potential to provide a mechanism for nucleating misfolded aggregates complicit in diseases such as Alzheimer’s Disease and Huntingon’s Disease. A second area of focus is the energetic properties of curved interfaces, such as liquid drops or micelles.
413-538-2449
G02C Carr Laboratory
Contact
not posted

Staff

Dina Bevivino, Senior Administrative Assistant, Chemistry

Dina Bevivino

Senior Administrative Assistant, Chemistry
I support the all of the department functions and plan events for our majors as well as assist the faculty with their various needs. I am here for the students to help with major declarations, permission forms for credits that need to be transferred and to answer any questions related to the Chemistry department in general. I enjoy, music, gardening, playing golf and spending time walking my dog, Bella.
413-538-2214
G04 Carr Laboratory
Contact
not posted
Ashley Figueiredo, Senior Laboratory Instructor

Ashley Figueiredo

Senior Laboratory Instructor, Coordinator of Passport to Chemistry Adventure Program
I am the coordinator and senior instructor of the Organic Chemistry laboratories. I teach the introductory organic labs as well as an advanced laboratory course for chemistry and biochemistry majors which focuses on more advanced syntheses and scientific writing. I mentor teaching assistants for laboratories and work on curriculum development to keep our labs aligned with current standards in chemistry and to spark interest in students. I value emphasizing the relevance of organic lab techniques and discussing real-world applications of organic topics. Additionally, along with Professor Maria Gomez, I advise Mount Holyoke Students in our Passport to Chemistry Adventure program, an outreach program for K-6 children at local libraries.
413-538-2215
111 Carr Laboratory
Contact
not posted

Thomas Houle

Laboratory Director/Instructor
Director of the department of chemistry teaching laboratories with concentration on general and analytical chemistry.
413-538-2213
G03 Carr Laboratory
Contact
not posted
Himali Jayathilake, Senior Laboratory Instructor, Physical Chemistry

Himali Jayathilake

Senior Laboratory Instructor, Physical Chemistry, Research Associate
I joined the chemistry department of Mount Holyoke college in fall 2008 after receiving my Ph.D. in physical chemistry. Since then, I have taught courses and associated laboratory components in general chemistry and physical chemistry. In addition to teaching, I enjoy performing research with students on synthesis, characterization and assembly of metal nano particles.
413-538-2678
111 Carr Laboratory
Contact
not posted