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 Awards & Accomplishments


Mahrukh Azam and Blaise Frost along with Maureen Knabb, Biology and Loretta Rieser-Danner, Psychology were awarded $148,981 through a CCLI-NSF Phase I grant for a collaborative project entitled "An Integrative Project-Based Biochemistry Laboratory Curriculum at WCUPA."

Roger Barth brews up a storm in his textbook The Chemistry of Beer: The Science in the Suds. Wiley, 2013, ISBN 978-1-118-67497-0. He has also written a book chapter "The Chemistry of Beer" in Using Food to Stimulate Interest in the Chemistry Classroom, Keith Symcox, Ed. pp 37-44. American Chemical Society, 2013, ISBN 978-0-8412-2818-4. He lectured on this theme in " The Science of Flavor." National Homebrewers Conference, Philadelphia, June 28, 2013.

Kurt Kolasinski, Outstanding Faculty Nominee, Honors Council & Honors Students Association; Talk of the Day Award, 7th International Conference on Porous Semiconductor Science and Technology, Valencia, Spain; Visiting Research Fellow, Universit├Ąt Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany, July 2007, June 2008 and July 2010. Awarded several Sponsored Research Incentive Awards, he is listed in Marquis Who's Who in America and Who's Who in Science and Engineering. The third edition of his book: Surface Science: Foundations of Catalysis and Nanoscience (John Wiley & Sons, Chichester, 2012) has been published. He received two grants from Vesta Sciences to develop new processes for the production of porous silicon powders. Awarded over $120,000 from the Tech Fee and CAS for the acquisition of a Brucker D2 Phaser X-ray Diffractometer and over $90,000 for the foundation of a Quantum Chemistry lab that houses a full suite of quantum chemistry software as well as a SpectraPhysics Quanta-Ray INDI nanosecond pulsed Nd:YAG laser with facilities for second and third harmonic generation. You can read about some of his latest research in Angewandte Chemie and the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

Tim Starn was awarded a grant from NSF's Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences titled Biogenic Volatile Organic Compounds and their Impacts in a Changing Temperate Forest in the amount of $48, 475. The principal investigators will construct and test in the laboratory an automated measurement system consisting of a sampling apparatus, a two-dimensional gas chromatograph (GCxGC), and a calibration system to quantify ambient mixing ratios of speciated BVOCs and reaction products hourly. The development of a semi-autonomous measurement system for BVOCs and reaction products will enhance observational resolution for investigations of interactions among forest dynamics, oxidation processes, aerosol production, nitrogen and carbon sequestration, and associated feedbacks on climate. Results from the project will also extend the PROPHET data archive, which has been a valuable community resource for broader investigations of forest-atmosphere interactions.

The 8th edition of Chemistry and Chemical Reactivity by John C. Kotz, Paul M. Treichel, John Townsend, appeared in 2011. John Townsend coordinates the chemistry education program at WCU for prospective high school teachers and the general chemistry lecture program for science majors. The 9th edition will appear in 2014. Together with Michael Moran, John has written a Study Guide to accompany this book and enhance the learning experience of students.