Associate Professor of Chemistry Lori Watson is a national leader in an effort to help inorganic chemistry professors include the latest developments in the field in their teaching. With colleagues from several other institutions, she received funding from the National Science Foundation to make teaching resources available to colleagues across the United States.
The recent grant entitled “IONiC: Transforming Education Through Collaborative Development of Materials at the Frontiers of Inorganic Chemistry” builds upon an initial 2007 NSF grant that established the Interactive Online Network of Inorganic Chemists (IONiC) and the Virtual Inorganic Pedagogical Electronic Resource (VIPEr.) The IONiC VIPEr website (www.ionicviper.org) has more than 550 registered faculty users and acts as both a repository for tested learning objects and a forum for discussing best practices for teaching and learning in inorganic chemistry.
“Inorganic chemistry is very broad with many subfields, but inorganic chemistry faculty are generally experts in only one,” says Watson, whose specialty is organometallic chemistry. “The teaching materials developed at these workshops and shared on the VIPEr site will allow us to incorporate the latest research in fields that are not our own into our classrooms.”
An active scholar in her own right, Watson has published more than 25 articles in peer-reviewed journals, and frequently presents her research at academic conferences. She also regularly conducts research with Earlham students.
Watson, who earned her doctorate in chemistry from Indiana University, also holds a master’s degree in theological studies from Saint Meinrad School of Theology. She is active in the local Catholic community and is a faculty advisor for Questing Catholics, a student group at Earlham.
Ph.D. Indiana University, M.T.S. St. Meinrad School of Theology, B.S. U of Kentucky, Lexington