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Tenure-Track Faculty

Dave Anderson, Chair
Sonja Braun-Sand
Jarred Bultema
Jim Eberhart
Renee Henry
Janel Owens
Ron Ruminski
Al Schoffstall
Kevin Tvrdy
David Weiss


Cindy Applegate
John Balyeat
Chet Dymek
Terry Geiger
Wendy Haggren
Brett Mayer
Mary Bethé Neely
Keith Oppenheim
Sam Vivian
Laura Zimmerman

Other Faculty

Terry Clayton
Al Hagedorn
Gordon Kresheck
Jerry Phillips
Jimmy Stewart

David Anderson

Dave Anderson, Associate Professor
Ph.D., University of Colorado at Boulder
Office: CENT 241A
Phone: 255-3154
E-mail: danderso@uccs.edu

My work is in the area of chemical education, with special emphasis on the use of technology in teaching and learning. My course materials are now delivered entirely over the Web; I use PowerPoint, Web material and other software in the classroom; and I have pioneered the use of generative software for discovery learning in class and in lab. Most recently I have been creating:

  • Dr. ChipThe Virtual Organic Laboratory, a series of interactive exercises that give students the opportunity to perform reactions and techniques they would not normally experience in the undergraduate laboratory,
  • the Virtual General Chemistry Laboratory - again, experiments that might not otherwise be possible in a traditional laboratory setting: five involving radioactivity and three involving gas laws,
  • and CHIPS (CHemistry Interactive Problem Solver), a truly interactive program to help general chemistry students learn how to set up and solve problems.

Cindy Applegate

Cindy Applegate, Senior Instructor
M.S., University of Oklahoma
Office: CENT 216
Phone: 255-3105
Email: capplega@uccs.edu

Cindy teaches CHEM 1201, 1211, and 1221.

John Balyeat

John Balyeat, Senior Instructor
M.S., Oregon State University
Office: CENT 222
Phone: 255-3852
Email: jbalyeat@uccs.edu

Mr. Balyeat currently teaches organic laboratory courses for majors (CHEM 3203 and 3213). Before coming to UCCS he taught general chemistry and organic chemistry at the Air Force Academy for nine years. His graduate research involved the synthesis of various carbene precursors and the mechanisms by which they react. Current chemistry interests include spectroscopy and improving chemical education.

Sonja Braun-Sand

Sonja Braun-Sand, Associate Professor
Ph.D., University of Notre Dame
Office: CENT 234
Phone: 255-3442
E-mail: sbraunsa@uccs.edu

Dr. Braun-Sand's research involves computational and practical aspects of biochemical mechanisms. Currently her work focuses on hexokinase isozymes and computational studies of proton transfer reactions.

Braun-Sand graphic

Jarred Bultema

Jarred Bultema, Assistant Professor
Ph.D., Colorado State University
Office: CENT 228
Phone: 255-3486
E-mail: jbultema@uccs.edu

Dr. Bultema’s research lab is focused on understanding how a type of biological vesicle, known as exosomes, are produced, function, and how they can be adapted and modified for use as therapeutics. In particular, Dr. Bultema focuses on bio-engineering and developing methods to produce designer exosomes with specific contents and biological activity.

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Terry Clayton

Terry Clayton, Assistant Professor Adjoint
Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
Phone: 623-2026
E-mail: tclayto2@uccs.edu

Dr. Clayton’s research is focused in three key areas: a) Synthesis of novel and high performance leuco dyes, b) highly stable microencapsulated systems designed for harsh environments and c) pilot to full production scale-up. His team operates a kilo and pilot applications lab, and a full production facility. Dr. Clayton’s work may be more broadly known for the temperature sensitive blue mountains on the Coors Light can that stops unsuspecting consumers from buying warm beer. The blue mountains were recently referenced in the popular country song, “Pontoon.” In addition to fighting thirst, he develops technologies that are focused on helping children learn, keeping people safe and identifying counterfeit products.

Clayton graphic 2

Chet Dymek

Chet Dymek, Senior Instructor
Ph.D., Ohio State University
Office: CENT 222
Phone: 255-3162
E-mail: cdymek@uccs.edu

Dr. Dymek's research interests have centered on properties and battery applications of ionic liquids, particularly imidazolium chloroaluminates. Current focus is on integrating semi-empirical molecular orbital calculations into the undergraduate physical chemistry laboratory curriculum.

Dymek graphic

Jim Eberhart

Jim Eberhart, Professor Emeritus
Ph.D., Ohio State University
E-mail: jeberhar@uccs.edu

Dr. Eberhart's research is focused on two aspects of fluid behavior. The first is the development of improved equations of state to represent the pressure-molar volume-temperature-concentration relationship for fluids and fluid mixtures. The second is the measurement and theoretical prediction of the limit of superheat (or spinoidal temperature) for liquids and liquid mixtures. The predictions are based on thermodynamic stability considerations and an equation of state for the liquid.

Eberhart graphic

Terry Geiger

Terry Geiger, Instructor
M.S., Kansas State University
Office: CENT 220
Phone: 255-5221
E-mail: tgeiger@uccs.edu

Mr. Geiger teaches lab and lab lecture for Organic Chemistry. He previously taught introductory chemistry and general chemistry at AIMS Community College. Before entering academia he also worked twelve years in the pharmaceutical industry, with his primary focus on the manufacture of human clinical supplies at both pilot plant and commercial scale. His graduate research involved the synthesis and scale up of alkanediones used in inclusion compounds. Current chemistry interests include polymer chemistry and improving chemical education.

Al Hagedorn

Al Hagedorn, Associate Professor Adjoint
Ph.D., Michigan State University
Lab: CENT 227
E-mail: ahagedor@uccs.edu

Before joining UCCS, Dr. Hagedorn taught at Rutgers University, Pikes Peak Community College, and Colorado College. He also worked in the pharmaceutical industry, at the bench in cardiovascular drug discovery and process development, and in management. His research interests are in synthetic organic chemistry, especially in developing new synthetic methods for preparing heterocycles, the tetracycline antibiotics and related compounds, and polyquinanes. In a parallel life, he managse his family water business, providing water to nearly 500 families in El Paso and Teller Counties, and runs a small beef cattle operation.

Hagedorn graphic

Wendy Haggren

Wendy Haggren, Senior Instructor
Ph.D., University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
Office: CENT 218
Phone: 255-4156
E-mail: whaggren@uccs.edu

Dr. Haggren’s research interests include, in collaboration with Dr. Sonja Braun-Sand, generation of specific mutations in the DNA encoding yeast Hexokinase I, then isolation and study of this altered enzyme. A biofuels project involves engineering a yeast strain to efficiently digest starch materials prior to alcohol fermentation. Bacterial projects examine the role of the signaling-molecule indole in antibiotic resistance and biofilm formation.

Renee Henry

Renee Henry, Assistant Professor
Ph.D., University of Colorado at Boulder
Office: CENT 230
Phone: 255-3229
E-mail: rhenry@uccs.edu

Dr. Henry’s research involves developing and synthesizing transition metal complexes that contain structural and functional groups found in enzymes and proteins of interest. By studying these transition metal complexes insights into the function of the original enzyme/protein are elucidated. Enzymes/proteins of current interest to the group will be utilized to bind and separate metal toxins from the environment.

Henry graphic

Gordon Kresheck

Gordon Kresheck, Adjoint Professor
Ph.D., Ohio State University
Office: CENT 217
Phone: 255-3829
Lab: Science 147
E-mail: gkreshec@uccs.edu

Dr. Kresheck’s research interests are in the area of biochemical thermodynamics, particularly lipid-lipid and lipid-protein interactions.


Kresheck, G. C. Journal of Physical Chemistry B 2009 (9), 6732-6735

Brett Mayer

Brett Mayer, Instructor
M.S., Seton Hall University
Office: CENT 220
Phone: 255-5209
E-mail: bmayer@uccs.edu

As a chemist, Brett has done research and development of commercial household products. His primary focus has been in household products; laundry products and household cleaners, with some other work in the areas of health and beauty aids; bath products and tooth pastes, and air fresheners. His industrial experience has also included pilot plant and manufacturing plant scale-up, market research testing, and marketing of these products.

Mary Bethe Neely

Mary Bethé Neely, Senior Instructor
M.A., Arizona State University
Office: CENT 216
Phone: 255-3105
Email: mneely@uccs.edu

Mary Bethé teaches CHEM 1101, 1102, 1201, and 1211.

Keith Oppenheim

Keith Oppenheim, Instructor
Ph.D., Syracuse University
Office: CENT 224
Phone: 255-3414
Email: koppenhe@uccs.edu

Dr. Oppenheim’s previous research interests were in modeling solid-state density functional theory of high explosives particularly investigation using terahertz range spectra as a detection and identification method for concealed weapons. Currently Dr. Oppenheim is in charge of coordination of the teaching assistants for the general chemistry courses and working on new computational laboratories for the undergraduate physical chemistry curriculum.

Janel Owens

Janel Owens, Assistant Professor
Ph.D., University of California at Davis
Office: CENT 226
Phone: 255-3207
E-mail: jowens2@uccs.edu

Current research interests include the development of quantitative methods for the analysis of pharmaceuticals, personal care products, and nanomaterials in foods and environmentally relevant samples. Of particular interest is the interaction and effect of food components (such as polyphenolics or similar antioxidants) on the stability and bioavailability of such environmental pollutants.

Owens graphic

Jerry Phillips

Jerry Phillips, Professor Attendant, Director, Science Center
Ph.D., Colorado State University
Office: CENT 204C
Phone: 255-3649
E-mail: jphillip@uccs.edu

Jerry led a cancer research team and was involved in science education before coming to UCCS in the fall of 2006. Jerry teaches biochemistry courses in addition to directing the Science Center.

The Science Center provides free drop-in tutoring for help in both lecture and laboratory science classes. As a student of Biology, Chemistry, and Physics, you have access to the many resources of the Center. The Science Center offers a variety of interactive software, supplemental instruction, graphing and word processing programs. Come join us in CENT 204.

Ron Ruminski

Ron Ruminski, Professor
Ph.D., University of New Mexico
Office: CENT 236
Phone: 255-3194
E-mail: rruminsk@uccs.edu

The predominate theme of our research is in the design and study of light-induced excited-state energy (electron) transfer processes in transition metal complexes. One aspect of his work is synthetic: the design and synthesis of new molecules specifically having targeted photo- and electrochemical properties. The other aspect is photo-physical: absorption and emission processes, photochemical reactivity and photo-electrochemical measurements.

Ruminski graphic

Al Schoffstall

Al Schoffstall, Professor
Ph.D., State University of New York, Buffalo
Office: CENT 244
Phone: 255-3163
E-mail: amschoff@uccs.edu

Dr. Schoffstall's lab research is in the area of synthetic organic chemistry that features modern methodologies using transition metal catalysts to produce polycyclic organic compounds that have specific spatial relationships. Another goal is to produce synthetic analogs with the potential for application to new routes to medicinal compounds. Our pedagogical laboratory research has led to publication of an organic laboratory text, now in its second edition. We have received support from the NSF for laboratory innovations centered on guided inquiry learning. These changes have helped modernize our laboratory curricula and updated our laboratory instrumentation in the undergraduate laboratory program. website

Schoffstall graphic

Jimmy Stewart

Jimmy Stewart, Associate Professor Adjoint
Ph.D., Strathclyde University, Glasgow, Scotland
Office: CENT 250
E-mail: MrMOPAC@att.net

Dr. Stewart’s research focuses on applying the internationally used computational software (MOPAC) he created. The Project Migrate group he formed with Dr. Braun Sand applies MOPAC to correct inconsistencies in the experimentally based structures of proteins available in the protein data base. He advises the group in the creation and use of protein models suitable for computational studies of key reactions of those proteins.

Kevin Tvrdy

Kevin Tvrdy, Assistant Professor
Ph.D., University of Notre Dame
Office: CENT 232, Lab: CENT 233
Phone: 255-3284
E-mail: ktvrdy@uccs.edu
Curriculum Vitae

Dr. Tvrdy’s research interests lie in the synthesis, purification, and characterization of low dimensional materials and their use in novel devices. Of particular interest are the optical and electronic properties of single walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) and semiconducting quantum dots (QDs).

Tvrdy graphic

Sam Vivian

Sam Vivian, Instructor
Ph.D., University of Nevada
Office: CENT 214
Phone: 255-3479
E-mail: jvivian@uccs.edu

Dr. Vivian's background is in theoretical chemical physics. At UNR, he worked with Prof. John Frederick on computational studies of nonlinear dynamics of molecules containing internal rotation ("molecular gyroscopes"), and prior to that worked on the photophysics of indoles and tryptophan fluorescence from proteins (with Prof. Patrik Callis). His current teaching focus is on general (Chem 1201) and introductory organic & biochemistry (Chem 1211) courses, and he previously taught biophysics.

David Weiss

David Weiss, Associate Professor
Ph.D., University of Kansas
Office: CENT 238
Phone: 255-3565
E-mail: dweiss@uccs.edu

Dr. Weiss' research involves the development of enzyme based biosensors for diagnosis and monitoring diseases such as PKU, and developing new capillary electrophoresis methods for the analysis of pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, and chemical warfare agents.

Weiss graphic

Laura Zimmerman

Laura Zimmerman, Instructor
Ph.D., University of Michigan
Office: CENT 218
Phone: 255-5208
E-mail: lzimmerm@uccs.edu

In addition to her bioanalytical graduate research, Dr. Zimmerman has also held internships as an analytical chemist: first, at the USGS, where she did trace metal detection in soil and plant material; and second, at the Denver Police Department, where she worked in the crime lab analyzing narcotic evidence samples. She has experience teaching general and analytical chemistry at the college level. Dr. Zimmerman is very passionate about science education and outreach, and has previously taught for Women in Science and Engineering and STEM summer camps.