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Office Hours

M 10:30 AM-11:30 AM
W 10:30 AM-11:30 AM

I currently serve the Siena College Physics Department as the Laboratory Technician, where I prepare lab exercises for the General Physics sequence.  I also teach sections of General Physics lecture and lab, and Introductory Astronomy.  I participate in research in Computational Astrochemistry, which is a multidisciplinary field involving the development and use of computational codes to simulate the evolution of chemistry in star forming regions.   The primary goal of this work is to study the chemistry related to the formation of life in our solar system, and the likelihood of forming organic chemistry in other similar (or not so similar) regions in the universe.   My other major interest is improving Physics education.  Throughout my education and career path, I have chosen opportunities and institutions to further develop these interests.

Degree Program University
Ph.D. Physics Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
M.S. Physics Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
B.S. Physics Widener University

My Siena Experience

My Teaching Philosophy

My teaching philosophy is built around active learning, or the use of hands-on activities and demonstrations to introduce and illustrate physical concepts by investigation of tangible problems or videos.   This foundation is used to develop learning objective, course materials, and assessments.   These methods are designed to appeal to a broad range of learning styles.

What I Love About Siena

My favorite part of teaching at Siena is the enthusiasm of the students for new educational experiences.  They bring a great breadth of knowledge, they learn quickly, they show a great deal of dedication to their studies, and many still find the time to participate actively in athletics, student groups, and service projects.   It is also great to work in a department and school that work to provide a top-notch educational experience to the students and to serve the broader community.  I especially love to hear from students after graduation and learn how their Siena experience has affected their lives.

My Favorite Courses to Teach

My favorite classes to teach are introductory physics and astronomy, particularly for those not majoring in physics or in any science.   I enjoy the challenge of finding ways to present course materials that appeal to a broad audience and convey my enthusiasm for the topics.  These courses provide a great opportunity to introduce and discuss new discoveries in the fields.        

My Professional Experience

Year Title University
2010 - Now Laboratory Technician and Lecturer Siena College Department of Physics and Astronomy
2007 - 2010 Postdoctoral Research Associate The Ohio State University Department of Physics
2006 - 2006 Adjunct Professor Department of Physics, Applied Physics, and Astronomy, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
2005 - 2007 Laboratory Technician and Lecturer Siena College Department of Physics and Astronomy
2004 - 2005 Postdoctoral Research Associate New York Center for Studies on the Origins of Life, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
2000 - 2004 Graduate Student - Research Assistant New York Center for Studies on the Origins of Life, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
1999 - 1999 Student Teacher Ridley High School
1999 - 2000 Graduate Student - Teaching Assistant Department of Physics, Applied Physics, and Astronomy, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Current Research

My primary research interest is Computational Astrochemistry, which involves mathematical modeling of chemistry and chemical evolution in star forming regions.   These models are used to interpret and predict observations of chemical species in these environments, including common, familar molecules and more bizzare species.   The development of organic chemistry toward low mass star forming regions, similar to the conditions that likely formed the Sun and solar system, is of particular interest.   I have also worked on projects related to the interpretation of the chemical composition of pre-cometary materials.  

Articles & Book Reviews

  • Chemical Simulations of Prebiotic Molecules: Interstellar Ethanimine Isomers
    Astrophysical Journal, vol. 824
    2016
  • Ortho-to-para ration of NH2. Herschel-HIFI observations of ortho- and para-NH2 rotational transitions toward W31C, W49N, W51, and G34.3+0.1
    Astronomy & Astrophysics, vol. 586
    2016
  • Herschel observations of EXtra-Ordinary Sources: ANALYSIS OF THE HIFI 1.2 THz WIDE SPECTRAL SURVEY TOWARD ORION KL II. CHEMICAL IMPLICATIONS
    Astrophysical Journal, vol. 806
    2015
  • Water Deuteration and Ortho-to-Para Nuclear Spin Ration of H2 in Molecular Clouds Formed via Accumulation of HI Gas
    Astronomy & Astrophysics, vol. 584
    2015
  • Detection of a dense clump in a filament interacting with W51e2
    Astronomy & Astrophysics, vol. 566
    2014
  • First detection of [N II] 205 um absorption in interstellar gas. Herschel-HIFI observations towards W 31C, W 49N, W 51, and G34.3+0.1
    Astronomy & Astrophysics, vol. 568
    2014
  • Upper limits to interstellar NH+ and para-NH2- abundances. Herschel-HIFI observations towards Sgr B2(M) and G10.6-0.4 (W31C)
    Astronomy & Astrophysics, vol. 567
    2014
  • Nitrogen hydrides in interstellar gas II. Analysis of Herschel/HIFI observations towards W49N and G10.6-0.4(W31C)
    Astronomy & Astrophysics, vol. 543
    2012
  • The Chemistry of C3 & Carbon Chain Molecules in DR21(OH)
    Astronomy & Astrophysics, vol. 546
    2012
  • Carbon-chain Species in Warm-up Models
    Astrophysical Journal, vol. 743
    2011
  • The Effects of Grain Size and Grain Growth on the Chemical Evolution of Dark Clouds
    Astrophysical Journal, vol. 732
    2011
  • Beyond the Pseudo-time-dependent Approach: Chemical Models of Dense Core Precursors
    Astronomy & Astrophysics, vol. 515
    2010
  • Inclusion of reactions with barriers in hot core models
    65th OSU International Symposium on Molecular Spectroscopy
    2010
  • Interstellar CH absorption in the diffuse interstellar medium along the sight-lines to G10.6-0.4 (W31C), W49N, and W51
    Astronomy & Astrophysics, vol. 521
    2010
  • Nitrogen Hydrides in Interstellar Gas: Herschel/HIFI observations toward G10.6-0.4 (W31C)
    Astronomy & Astrophysics, vol. 521
    2010
  • Shock formation of initial molecular ice mantles
    64th OSU International Symposium on Molecular Spectroscopy
    2009
  • Modeling the Lukewarm Corino Phase: Is L1527 Unique?
    Astrophysical Journal, vol. 681
    2008
  • Modeling the Molecular Composition of the Transitional Protostar L1527
    63rd OSU International Symposium on Molecular Spectroscopy
    2008
  • New Theoretical Results Concerning the Interstellar Abundance of Molecular Oxygen
    Astrophysical Journal, vol. 681
    2008
  • Shock Processing of Mixed Molecular Ices in Protoplanetary Disks
    American Astronomical Society 207th Meeting
    2006
  • Shock Processing of Icy Mantles in Protoplanetary Disks
    American Astronomical Society 204th Meeting
    2004
  • A Test Case for the Organic Refractory Model of Interstellar Dust
    Astrophysical Journal, vol. 591
    2003
  • A test case for the organic refractory model of interstellar dust
    Astrophysics of Dust
    2003
  • Shock Processing and Ice Mantle Crystallization
    SFChem 2002: Chemistry as a Diagnostic of Star Formation
    2003
  • Crystalline Ice in Protoplanetary Disks
    American Astronomical Society 199th Meeting
    2002
  • The Sproul 24-Inch Refractor: Entering A New Century of Research
    American Astronomical Society 194th Meeting
    1999

Awards & Distinctions

  • Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do
    Category: Other
    Pai's Academy of Tae Kwon Do, Troy, NY, 2003
  • Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society
    Category: Other
    Widener University, Chester, PA, 1999
  • Alpha Chi Honor Society
    Category: Other
    Widener University, Chester, PA, 1998
  • Kappa Delta Pi Honor Society
    Category: Other
    Widener University, Chester, PA, 1998
  • Sigma Pi Sigma Honor Society
    Category: Other
    Widener University, Chester, PA, 1997
  • Eagle Scout
    Category: Other
    Boy Scouts of America, 1995
  • National Honor Society
    Category: Other
    Interboro High School, Prospect Park, PA, 1995
  • Salutatorian
    Category: Other
    Interboro High School, Prospect Park, PA, 1995

Presentations

  • Computational Modeling of the Chemical Evolution of Deuterated Water toward the Galactic Center Cloud W51
    September, 2013
    Summer Scholars / CURCA Poster Session, Loudonville, New York
  • Computational Modeling of the Chemical Evolution of Low Mass Star Forming Regions
    April, 2013
    American Chemical Society Undergraduate Meeting, Loudonville, New York
  • Hydrocarbon Chemistry in Star Forming Regions
    October, 2012
    Astronomical Society of New York, Loudonville, New York
  • Computational Modeling of the Chemical Evolution of Low Mass Star Forming Regions
    September, 2012
    Summer Scholars / CURCA Poster Session, Loudonville, New York
  • Carbon-chain Chemistry In Star Forming Regions
    April, 2011
    Astronomical Society of New York, Rochester, New York
  • Astrochemical Modeling of Low-Mass Protostars: Distinguishing the Lukewarm and Hot Corino
    October, 2010
    Astronomical Society of New York, Troy, New York
  • Inclusion of reactions with barriers in hot core models
    June, 2010
    65th OSU International Symposium on Molecular Spectroscopy, Columbus, Ohio
  • Shock formation of initial molecular ice mantles
    March, 2010
    NASA Astrobiology Institute Workshop Without Walls, Washington, District of Columbia
  • Shock formation of initial molecular ice mantles
    June, 2009
    64th OSU International Symposium on Molecular Spectroscopy, Columbus, Ohio
  • Shocks as a Molecular Cloud Formation Mechanism: the Astrochemistry Context
    May, 2009
    Center for Chemistry of the Universe Workshop, Green Bank, West Virginia
  • Formation of Molecules in Dense Cloud Formation Behind Shocks
    November, 2008
    Midwest Astrochemistry Meeting, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Illinois
  • Incorporating Laboratory Results into Gas-grain Chemistry Models
    October, 2008
    Interstellar Surfaces: From Laboratory to Models, Lorentz Center Workshop, Leiden, Netherlands
  • Computational Modeling of the Chemical Evolution of Low Mass Star Forming Regions
    September, 2008
    University of Missouri-St Louis Physics Department Colloquium, St. Louis, Missouri
  • Modeling the Molecular Composition of the Transitional Protostar L1527
    June, 2008
    63rd OSU International Symposium on Molecular Spectroscopy, Columbus, Ohio
  • Shock Processing of Ices in Protoplanetary Disks
    June, 2007
    ASTROSURF: New Astronomical Challenges in Surface Science, Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Protoplanetary Disks
    July, 2006
    Gordon Research Conference Graduate Student Symposium - Origins of Life, Lewiston, Maine
  • Shock Processing of Ices in Protoplanetary Disks
    April, 2006
    Siena College Physics Department Colloquium, Loudonville, New York
  • Shock Processing of Mixed Molecular Ices in Protoplanetary Disks
    January, 2006
    American Astronomical Society 207th Meeting, Washington, District of Columbia
  • Shock Processing of Mixed Molecular Ices in Protoplanetary Disks
    October, 2005
    Astronomical Society of New York, Schnectady, New York
  • Shock Processing of Mixed Molecular Ices in Protoplanetary Disks
    June, 2005
    Gordon Research Conference on Origin of Solar Systems, New London, Connecticut
  • Shock Processing of Icy Mantles in Protoplanetary Disks
    May, 2004
    American Astronomical Society 204th Meeting, Denver, Colorado
  • A test case for the organic refractory model of interstellar dust
    May, 2003
    Astrophysics of Dust, Estes Park, Colorado
  • Shock Processing of Icy Mantles in Protoplanetary Disks
    May, 2003
    Astrophysics of Dust, Estes Park, Colorado
  • Shock Processing of Ices in Protoplanetary Disks
    July, 2002
    10th ISSOL Meeting / 13th International Conference on the Origins of Life, Oaxaca, Mexico-Oaxaca
  • Crystalline Ice in Protoplanetary Disks
    January, 2002
    American Astronomical Society 199th Meeting, Washington, District of Columbia
  • Processing of Ices by MHD Shock Waves in Protoplanetary Disks
    June, 2001
    Gordon Research Conference on Origin of Solar Systems, New London, Connecticut
  • The Sproul 24-Inch Refractor: Entering A New Century of Research
    June, 1999
    American Astronomical Society 194th Meeting, Chicago, Illinois