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Chemistry Faculty

The faculty chemists of Elmhurst College are top-notch professionals with wide-ranging areas of expertise, representing an excellent cross-section of diverse fields of study. What’s more, these top-flight professionals love to teach—in a friendly environment where they can work with their students as individuals. Our small, manageable class sizes and our collegial, friendly atmosphere guarantee that you will get the personal attention you need to develop your full talents.

Want to know more? See our faculty profiles below. Or contact a professor directly.

Eugene Losey
Professor and Department Chair
Ph.D. in organic chemistry, Michigan State University

Dr. Losey joined Elmhurst’s faculty in 1977, and has been recognized as an extraordinary educator throughout his tenure. The only two-time recipient of the Elmhurst College President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching ever, he also was the first holder of the T. W. Mueller Endowed Chair at Elmhurst.

Dr. Losey’s research interests include synthetic organic chemistry, green chemistry and chemical education. He is involved in a wide range of campus activities, such as serving as an advisor for the Premedical Health Program. In addition, he recently helped develop Elmhurst's unique Personal Portfolio Program, a combination of courses and advising sessions designed to help students in any major develop portfolios of their college work.

Michelle Applebee
Associate Professor and Assistant Department Chair
Ph.D. in analytical chemistry, University of North Dakota

Dr. Applebee came to Elmhurst in 2000 after completing her Ph.D. and was quickly recognized for her dedication to student learning. In just her second year at Elmhurst, she received the Elmhurst College President's Award for Excellence in Teaching. Her research focuses on methods development for the determination of water contaminants using a thickness shear mode resonator, and sensor development for biological and environmental analyzes. A devoted educator, Dr. Applebee serves as faculty advisor to the Student Affiliate Chapter of the American Chemical Society.

Ami Johanson
Assistant Professor
Ph.D. in biochemistry, Northwestern University

Dr. Johanson, the newest member of the department, joined the Elmhurst College faculty after spending a year teaching at St. Xavier University in Chicago following the completion of her doctorate. Her interests lie in the area of protein motions and their effects on protein function. In addition to her research, Dr. Johanson is passionate about developing programs to make science accessible to the public at large, continuing the work she started at the Marian Koshland Science Museum of the National Academy of Sciences in Washington D.C. She is currently working with the Dare to Dream program introducing science to middle and high school Latina girls in the Chicago area.

Kimberly Lawler-Sagarin
Associate Professor
Ph.D. in theoretical/physical chemistry, Cornell University

Following her doctoral training, Dr. Sagarin joined the faculty of California State University, Fresno, where she was awarded early tenure in 1999. She came to Elmhurst in 2002 after serving as associate director of the Searle Center for Teaching Excellence at Northwestern University. Her research interests lie at the interface of computational, physical, and inorganic chemistry, and her work has appeared in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, Inorganic Chemistry, and other publications. Her pedagogical interests include online education, the use of computational chemistry in the chemistry curriculum, and developing problem-solving skills through active learning.

Colleen Munro-Leighton
Assistant Professor
Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry, North Carolina State University

Dr. Munro-Leighton joined the Elmhurst College faculty in 2012 after a post-doctoral fellowship at University of North Carolina and a two-year teaching appointment at Truman State University in Missouri. In the classroom, she uses active learning techniques and current event examples to encourage her students to appreciate the importance of chemistry in the real world. Her research seeks to address environmental issues, including the study of metal catalyst systems and carbon dioxide sequestration.

Charles Ophardt
Professor Emeritus
Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry, Southern Illinois University

Ever on the cutting edge of education, Dr. Ophardt helped pioneer the use of the Internet and other technologies on campus. His highly successful online course, Chemistry and Issues in the Environment, is a popular choice among students. Recent publications include the CD-ROM Inorganic Molecules: A Visual Database. Dr. Ophardt is currently compiling and editing a website of chemistry demonstrations, and when he is not working with students, he is busy writing The Virtual Chembook. He recently helped develop Elmhurst's Personal Portfolio Program.

 

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