Chemistry Faculty Research Interests


Chemistry Faculty Research Interests

The mission of the Chemistry Department at Auburn University at Montgomery is to provide quality and diverse educational opportunities through both classroom and laboratory instruction, and to foster and support an environment conducive to teaching, research, and scholarship. The faculty in the Department of Chemistry are ready to share their vast knowledge gained from participating and running various types of research projects in the scientific community.

Haewon An

Ph.D. (2012) Biochemistry, University of Houston
B.S. (2007) Chemistry, University of Houston

Bio: Dr. Haewon An is a Lecturer in the AUM Department of Chemistry. She teaches General Chemistry and Organic Chemistry Lab. Her research has focused on elucidating the essential roles of several residues in Vibrio harveyi FRP activity during her Ph.D. She further tried to determine the roles of Phospholipase D (PLD) in an anesthetic effect of living organisms during her postdoctoral experience at Scripps Research Institute in Florida. She also has chemistry research experiences to prepare palladium shells with gold and silica nanoparticles. She has supervised and instructed numerous students in biochemical techniques.

Steven Arnold

Ph.D. (1990) Physical Chemistry, Louisiana State University
B.S. (1985) Chemistry, Louisiana State University

Bio: Dr. Steve Arnold’s area of expertise is Physical Chemistry. Dr. Arnold instructs students at AUM in Physics as well as General Chemistry and Physical Chemistry. He was a recipient of the AUM Teaching Award in 2011 – 2012.  His research interests are in UV-visible absorption and emission spectroscopy. He has guided undergraduate research and presented research results at AUM.

Greg Ciesielski

Ph.D. (2011) Biochemistry, Medical University of Gdańsk and University of Gdańsk, Poland
M.S. (2009) Pharmacy, Medical University of Gdańsk and University of Gdańsk, Poland
M.S. (2006) Biotechnology, Medical University of Gdańsk and University of Gdańsk, Poland
B.S. (2004) Biotechnology, Medical University of Gdańsk and University of Gdańsk, Poland

Bio: Dr. Greg Ciesielski is an Assistant Professor of Biochemistry in the AUM Department of Chemistry. He is an expert in the field of mitochondrial genome maintenance and his research focuses on the pathology of related human diseases. His lab utilizes a wide variety of techniques and methodologies, ranging from in vitro enzymatic assays to human cell cultures.  He is an outstanding problem solver and research mentor. In acknowledgement of his impactful efforts he was recently awarded the College of Sciences Research Award (2020). In addition, Dr. Ciesielski serves as the Chair of the Undergraduate Research Committee at AUM, which aims to boost students’ involvement in research activities.

John Hutchison

Ph.D. (2007) Organic Chemistry, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR
B.S. (2000) Chemistry, University of Southern Indiana, Evansville, IN

Bio: Dr. John Hutchison is an Associate Professor in the AUM Department of Chemistry. His area of expertise is Synthetic Organic Chemistry. His research interest lies in the synthesis of structurally interesting and/or biologically active organic molecules. Graduate and post-doctoral work involved the development of synthetic strategies towards the synthesis of eupomatilone-6, sclerophytin A, cladiell-11-ene-3,6,7-triol, antascomicin B, organometallic Ni and Pd-complexes, and CdSe nanoparticles. While at AUM his undergraduate research students have completed the total synthesis of three natural products gymnoascolide A, eutypoid A, and microperfuranone. Current undergraduate research projects involve short-syntheses of biologically active natural products and structure activity studies of antibacterial C-4 and C-5 substituted butenolides. Dr. Hutchison enjoys working with AUM students in both the classroom and laboratory. He is a good research mentor and he is an outstanding life guide for students.

Daniel Kim

Ph.D. (2003) Chemistry, Florida International University
M.S. (1987) Chemistry, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea
B.S. (1985) Chemistry, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea

Bio: Dr. Daniel Kim is a Professor in the AUM Department of Chemistry and currently serves as the Chair of the Department. His area of expertise is Physical Organic Chemistry. He has considerable industrial experience in a wide spectrum of areas prior to completing his Ph.D. In addition to working as an organic chemist, his research interest extends to the area of environmental remediation of polluted water by advanced oxidation technologies, syntheses of organic/organometallic compounds under extremely high pressure/temperature conditions created by ultrasonic irradiation, and synthesis of organic compounds with the combination of electron donor/acceptor.

Randy Russell

M.S. (1983) Meteorology, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa
B.S. (1979) Physics, Cameron University, Lawton, Oklahoma

Bio: Mr. Randy Russell is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry. He teaches Physics and Astronomy.  Mr. Russell’s research interests include boundary-layer meteorology, numerical modeling, physics education, and the effects of clouds on solar radiation.  He currently works with Dr. Semih Dinc in AUM’s Computer Science Department applying machine learning techniques to analyze hyperspectral images of the sky.

Emma Si

Ph.D. (2011) Analytical/Environmental Chemistry, McGill University, Montreal, Canada
M.S. (2003) Chemistry, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario
B.A. (2001) Chemistry, Shandong Normal University, China

Bio: Dr. Emma Si is an Assistant Professor in the AUM Department of Chemistry. Her research interests include (i) understanding the photochemistry of inorganic mercury with selected organic molecules; (ii) developing analytical methods for chemical speciation of toxic metals in aquatic environment; and (iii) developing novel remediation techniques for air and water pollution. She is actively involved in mentoring undergraduate research students at AUM and their results have been presented at various international and national conferences.

Cheryl Sundberg

Ph.D. (2000) Science Education focused on Chemistry, The University of Alabama
M.Ed. (1985) Science Education focused on Chemistry, The University of Alabama Birmingham
B.S. (1980) Chemistry & Education (double major), Auburn University

Bio: Dr. Cheryl Sundberg is an educator with over 30 years of teaching experience. She is a specialist in the field of distance learning. She won multiple grants for effective science teaching. She has been working as a science instructor at a variety of colleges. She was an outstanding education consultant with multiple of publications and was recognized with the Outstanding AUM Adjunct Instructor Award in 2020.

Nick Thomas

Ph.D. (1983) Inorganic Chemistry, Monash University, Australia
B.Sc. (1978), Chemistry/biochemistry, Monash University, Australia

Bio: Dr. Nick Thomas is a Professor of Chemistry in the AUM Department of Chemistry, and was selected as Distinguished Teaching Professor in 2006 – 2009. He teaches General Chemistry, Quantitative Analysis, and Inorganic Chemistry courses. His primary areas of research have been coordination chemistry of transition metals and lanthanides, and chemical education. He has written numerous encyclopedia entries as well as feature articles on a variety of general interest topics, including science, for over 800 newspapers and magazines around the country. His personal web site is www.getnickt.org.

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