Associate Professor of Chemistry
Bachelor of Science, Moi University, Kenya
Ph.D., Louisiana State University
What made you decide to specialize in chemistry?
Chemistry is fun because it gave me unique opportunities to learn, understand and appreciate how biomolecules (proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, nucleic acids, etc.) are synthesized by living organisms.
What was your favorite course in college and why?
Medicinal chemistry was my most favorite course because it involved sophisticated and challenging synthesis of new and more potent drugs for the treatment of diseases including cancer, tuberculosis and malaria. I had to “think outside the box” in order to develop “clever” synthetic methods.
What do you find most rewarding about teaching?
Teaching is very rewarding because you get to meet students with different learning styles. I find it fun when I have to keep adjusting my teaching style until I hear the “a-ha” moments from students. This is usually followed by priceless smiles from the students’ faces, which indicate they understood the chemistry concept.
What advice would you give current students or prospective students?
Never give up and never quit, no matter how challenging the courses might be.
What would you say to a student interested in pursuing a career in chemistry?
Welcome to the chemistry “club”! You will be glad you chose chemistry as your major because there are plenty of career opportunities after graduating.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I like going to the gym to burn some calories. I am also an avid reader of science magazines, the Bible and cartoons (especially Dilbert). When relaxing after a busy day, I watch CNN TV news, sports channels and Weather Channel.