PhD, 1995, Iowa State University, Physical Chemistry; BA, 1989, University of Minnesota, Chemistry
Charles Smith arrived at OLLU in 1998 under the auspices of a Department of Education Title III grant. The grant provided funding for him and for the purchase of analytical instrumentation for the purposes of implementing courses in Physical Chemistry, Instrumental Analysis and for supervision of undergraduate research. Before arriving at OLLU he taught for three years at Friends University in Wichita, Kansas and was a temporary instructor at Iowa State University.
Chemical education, environmental analyses
Areas of Expertise:
General Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, Instrumental Analysis, Physical Chemistry, Physical Science
Publications since 1999:
- Diaz, L.; Smith, C.A. Investigating the Photoelectric Effect Using LED's and a Modular Spectroscope. J. Chem. Educ. 2005, 82, 906.
- Smith, A.A.; Smith, C.A. J. Chem. Educ. 2005 82, 560A.
- Smith, C.A. Checkerboard Chromatography. J. Chem. Educ. 2004, 81, 384A.
- Smith, C.A.; Villaescusa, F.W. Simulating Chromatographic Separations in the Classroom. J. Chem. Educ. 2003, 80, 1023.
- Munguia, T.; Smith, C.A. Measurement of the Surface Tension of Various Liquids Using Inexpensive Capillary Tubing and Observations of Laser Diffraction Patterns. J. Chem. Educ. 2001, 78, 343.
- Avalos, M.P.; Smith, C.A. A Classroom Demonstration of Rayleigh Light Scattering in Optically Active and Inactive Systems. J. Chem. Educ. 1999, 76, 1230.
In what ways have students participated in your special projects or conference presentations:
At OLLU I have had the joy of supervising 36 undergraduate research students, who have to date, given 41 well-received presentations of their research at regional and national meetings of the American Chemical Society. Our research in the area of chemical education has led to six publications in the Journal of Chemical Education including two as feature articles in the “JCE Classroom Activity” series.
What has been your greatest success while teaching at Our Lady of the Lake University?
Before I was hired, undergraduate research was close to non existent at OLLU and the number of graduates entering graduate and professional programs was minute. The incorporation of a well-planned and supervised undergraduate research experience seems to have been integral over the past ten years in achieving this defined goal of student success. Since 1999 after incorporating undergraduate research into our program, over 74% of our 27 chemistry graduates went on to a graduate/professional program. Over this time, as the only faculty member supervising student research, perhaps my greatest success has been with students and their undergraduate research experiences.
What do students like best about your class?
Student comments on my course evaluations reflect a high degree of satisfaction and interest in my classes. Students recall favorably the many demonstrations they witness in my courses.
Length of Service at OLLU?
What are some of your former students doing now?
Many are either attending or graduated from graduate programs or professional programs. The remainder have either gone into industry or have become science teachers at the high or middle school level.