Lecturer in Chemistry
Associate Director and Associate Professor, Teaching Resource Center
Hotel D, 24 East Range
B.S. University of Wyoming
Ph.D. University of Wyoming
Michael Palmer, Associate Director and Associate Professor, joined the Teaching Resource Center in the Fall of 2003. As an Associate Director, he presents interactive workshops locally, nationally and internationally; he regularly consults with faculty, graduate student instructors, departments, and administrative units about teaching and learning matters; and he designs and administers professional development programs, such as the TRC’s graduate student professional development program, Tomorrow’s Professor Today, and the Center’s annual Course Design Institute. His educational development research centers on teaching consultation techniques, graduate student professional development, and the impact of intense professional development activities on teacher beliefs and practices. Published accounts of his work can be found in To Improve the Academy, Practically Speaking: A Sourcebook for Instructional Consultants in Higher Education (2nd Ed, 2012; editor Kate Brinko), and Studies in Graduate and Professional Student Development. He was the 2011 Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education’s (POD Network) conference co-chair and has served on the core faculty of the 2009, 2011, and 2013 New Faculty Developers Institutes. He is currently a member of the POD Network’s Core Committee, the organization’s Board of Directors, and chair of the Membership Committee.
Michael’s pedagogical interests include course design, active learning, student motivation, creative thinking, and teaching large enrollment courses, particularly in STEM disciplines. He teaches a highly interdisciplinary course on infinity and a large-enrollment, inquiry-based laboratory course for first-year chemistry students. In 2012, he won one of UVa’s All-University Teaching Awards.
Born and raised in Wyoming, Michael obtained his B.S. and Ph.D. in chemistry at the University of Wyoming in Laramie. There he won both the University of Wyoming Outstanding Dissertation Award and the Sara Jane Rhoads Award for Outstanding Research for the Ph.D. Degree in Chemistry. Upon completing his graduate studies, Michael accepted a postdoctoral research position in the Chemical Engineering Department at the University of Virginia. Michael’s research focused on environmentally and industrially important catalytic processes, from the desulfurization of petroleum feedstocks and the conversion of natural gas to liquid fuels to the selective oxidation of aromatic compounds. Published accounts of his chemical research can be found in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, Journal of Physical Chemistry B, and Organometallics.