Diane M. Szaflarski
Associate Professor, School of Nursing and Lecturer in Chemistry
Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles, 1988
My work focuses on considering what Chemical Education should look like today and in future decades. Chemistry, “the central science” has many important pillars that have to be established in order to understand advanced applications and mechanisms. It is essential that as chemical educators we continuously and critically evaluate whether our curricula are current in applications and technologies that are relevant to today’s science and industry, and will be applicable for our students as they encounter their future.
I define Chemical Education broadly and am interested in the range of students including chemistry, science and chemical education majors as well as non-science majors. The focus of the non-majors course that I teach, Chem 1210, is to address college science literacy and to explore the question of what every college student should know about chemistry and impact of chemical issues. In my courses, I strive to establish student centered learning environments in the classroom to maximize the student involvement and focus.
My consideration of curricula parallels my interest in building support networks, especially for those students taking college level chemistry for the first time. It is important that the appropriate supports are in place so that student’s interest does not wane as a result of frustration. I have been involved in departmental efforts to establish support for students.
I am interested in bridging the Chemistry Department with other areas on campus, and have done this with the Curry School and the School of Nursing. These connections encourage facile flow of information on teaching methods and current chemistry content which allows us superior approaches to serving the needs of today’s students. I currently teach in the Chemistry Department and the School of Nursing.