Two fourth year graduate chemistry scholars have been awarded the prestigious Dean’s Teaching Fellowship. The award allows students to teach their own undergraduate course while completing their dissertation. The scholars, Misael Romero-Reyes (Heemstra Group) and Elaine Liu (MacBeth Group) have both pursued their interest in pedagogy throughout their Emory careers. Elaine will have the opportunity to teach her own section of CHEM 150: Structure and Properties while Misael will teach CHEM 370: Chemistry and the Environment. Both courses will be a part of the Chemistry Unbound curriculum.
Elaine is a 4th year PhD student in the MacBeth Group where her current research focuses on understanding and utilizing copper complexes as biomimics for the enzyme tryrosinase. Her work has been supported by an Advancing Science in America (ARCS) fellowship.
Elaine obtained her B.A. in Chemistry with honors and a minor in dance from Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio. During her undergraduate career she earned the ACS Undergraduate Award in Inorganic Chemistry. Her undergraduate thesis led to a first author publication in Crystal Growth and Design. Post-graduation, Elaine spent a year as an au pair in Paris, France.
At Emory, Elaine has distinguished herself as a student leader, serving as Vice President of Outreach and Academic Affairs for Pi Alpha Chemical Society. Prior to the Dean’s Teaching Fellowship, she received the Department of Chemistry’s Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award and was named an Advanced Graduate Teaching Fellow. This Spring, Elaine is teaching courses as lead instructor at Emory’s Oxford College.
In her free time, Elaine enjoys reading, crocheting, and board games with friends.
Misael is a 4th year PhD student whose research explores the interface of materials chemistry and chemical biology. Currently, he is studying how to remove select contaminants from water using DNA. Misael developed a fascination for chemistry in high school after performing a colorful titration experiment and learning about the underlying phenomena of what he observed. Ever since, he has sought to hone his research abilities and cultivate scientific critical thinking.
Misael began taking a pedagogical approach to chemistry as an undergraduate, mentoring fellow students in his organic chemistry classes at the Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México. He has continued to cultivate a personal teaching philosophy via T.A. assignments and training workshops during his time at Emory, including completing a problem-based learning workshop at the University of Delaware at the Problem-Based Learning Classic Institute and training on developing effective online courses via Emory Foundations for Online Teaching and the TPCR+R TATTO Extension course.
This fall, Misael developed a new special topics course for CHEM 370 based on current environmental issues and the chemical processes that accompany these changes. The course will help students learn about our biosphere and to build skills in analyzing literature, proposing new sustainable ideas, and developing science communication skills.
Outside of chemistry, Misael enjoys traveling, swimming, hiking, running and exploring new places in Atlanta with friends. He is also one of the founding members of Emory’s International Graduate Students and Scholars (IGSS).