Department of Chemistry

West Chester University

Chemistry Information
Office: 119 Schmucker
Science Center South
West Chester, PA 19383
Phone (610) 436-2631
Fax (610) 436-2890
Email: Department Chair


Faculty Updates

New Professor 2014

Dr. Hu was born and raised in China. She received her BS and MS in chemistry from Nanjing University.  She received her PhD in chemistry from Boston University.  Before she joined West Chester University, she worked at Wartburg College in Iowa and York College of Pennsylvania.  Her research interests involve the design and development of fluorescent sensors for the detection of heavy metal ions, organic compounds, and biological macromolecules. She also synthesizes organic dyes and surface-modified nanoparticles to investigate the photo-induced electron transfer process that is essential for solar energy conversion. Dr. Hu supports student-originated research and encourages students to discuss their own research ideas with her.

New Professor 2011

Professor James Pruitt joined the chemistry department in Fall 2011. He received his B.S. and Ph.D. in organic chemistry from University of California Los Angeles. In addition to teaching, he has worked as a researcher and manager in the pharmaceutical industry, including stints at DuPont, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Incyte and Cytokine PharmaSciences. His research involves natural product isolation and characterization, searching for antibiotics from actinomyces cultures and antivirals from plant extracts. Another component of his research is devoted to the synthesis of small molecules that have antiinflammatory activity. His active undergraduate research group has presented at multiple local and national scientific meetings and has a strong publication record.

New Professor 2010

Professor Monica Joshi completed her B.S. in Chemistry, Biochemistry and Microbiology in 2003 at St. Francis Degree College and her M.S. in Forensic chemistry and toxicology in 2005 at Osmania University in India. As part of the MS program, she gained laboratory experience in the State Forensic Science Laboratory (APFSL) and the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL). She trained with the forensic scientists and studied casework in the different evidence analysis departments such as the toxicology, serology, anthropology, ballistics, questioned documents and the chemistry departments. She completed her Ph.D. in Chemistry at Florida International University in 2010. Throughout her years at FIU, she had opportunities to teach undergraduate level courses and present research at several national and international scientific meetings such as the annual American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) and the Gordon Research Conferences (GRC). Three research papers have been published in peer reviewed journals and have been well received.

New Professor 2006

Professor Kurt Kolasinski joined the chemistry department in Fall 2006. He received his B.S. from The University of Pittsburgh and his Ph.D. from Stanford University. Prior to arriving at West Chester, he was a Research Associate Professor and Director of the CAMOS Ultrafast Laser Laboratory at the University of Virginia, a Senior Lecturer at Queen Mary, University of London, and a Lecturer at the University of Birmingham.. His research concentrates on the study of dynamical processes at the surfaces of metals and semiconductors with a special emphasis on nanostructure formation and laser-surface interactions. He is currently teaching General Chemistry Lab, and Physical Chemistry Lecture and Lab. Check out his website.

New Professor 2004

Professor Mahrukh Azam joined the chemistry department in Fall of 2004. She Completed her B.S. at Seton Hall University and her Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research focuses on the characterization of secondary structures, GDNA formed from telomeric sequences. She has taught General Chemistry lecture and labs, Biochemistry labs and Forensic and Toxicological Chemistry labs. She has had an active research group involving several undergraduate students since the Spring of 2005.