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Office Hours

M 03:45 PM-05:15 PM
W 03:45 PM-05:15 PM
R 01:30 PM-03:30 PM

A native of Hummelstown, PA, Dr. O'Donnell received a B.A. in Chemistry with a minor in Physics from Drew University in Madison, NJ. Following her undergraduate degree, she received a Ph.D. under the direction of Joseph T. Hupp at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. Dr. O'Donnell's graduate research focused in the area of inorganic chemistry, with an emphasis on design, synthesis, and characterization of functional materials. She spent a year as a graduate fellow at Argonne National Lab in Argonne, IL working with Dr. David Tiede on developing wide angle x-ray scattering techniques. Dr. O'Donnell began her teaching career at Reed College in Portland, OR as a visiting faculty member before joining the Siena College faculty in 2007. At Siena, she teaches a variety of inorganic chemistry courses, general chemistry, and chemical communications.

Degree Program University
Ph.D. Inorganic Chemistry Northwestern University
B.A. Chemistry ACS Drew University

My Siena Experience

My Teaching Philosophy

In the classroom, I’m known to be both passionate and tough. I find great joy in pushing students to what they think are their intellectual limits and then watching them sail beyond them. Part of the college experience is stretching your abilities far further than you imagined possible. 

What I Love About Siena

I love to teach at Siena because of the great interactions I get to have with our students in my classes and research lab.  

My Favorite Courses to Teach

My favorite classes to teach are general chemistry 1 and inorganic electives.  In these courses, I get to see students at the two extremes of their college career, and I enjoy seeing how they've grown.

My Professional Experience

Year Title University
2013 - 2014 Visiting Scientist SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering
2013 - Now Associate Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry Siena College
2007 - 2013 Assistant Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry Siena College
2005 - 2007 Visiting Assistant Professor, Chemistry Reed College
2004 - 2005 Graduate Fellow, Chemistry Argonne National Laboratory

Current Research

My research focuses on synthesis and characterization of thin-film and membrane materials.

Our goal in designing these materials is to use them for a variety of applications, including as VOC, ion pair, and biomimetic sensors, in novel liquid crystalline materials, photovoltaic devices and in electrochromic materials.  To learn more, visit my research webpage.

Articles & Book Reviews

  • Impact of the Siena College Tech Valley Scholars Program on Student Outcomes
    Journal of STEM Education, vol. 17
    2016
  • Impact of the Siena College Tech Valley Scholars Program on Student Outcomes
    Journal of STEM Education
    2016
  • Synthesis and Characterization of Thermochromic Metal Complexes with A Near Room Temperature High-Spin to Low-Spin Crossover
    Chemical Educator, vol. 20
    2015
  • Chlorocarbon and Alcohol Vapor Discrimination by Electropolymerized Ultrathin Chromophore Films
    Journal of the Electrochemical Society, vol. 160
    2013
  • A Computational Approach to Walsh Correlation Diagrams for the Inorganic Chemistry Curriculum
    Chemical Educator, vol. 17
    2012
  • Electropolymerized Ultrathin Chromophore Films for VOC Sensing
    Electrochemical Society Transactions, vol. 35
    2011
  • Interfacially Polymerized Metalloporphyrin Thin Films for Colorimetric Sensing of Organic Vapors
    Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical, vol. 155
    2011
  • Solution Phase Structural Characterization of Supramolecular Assemblies by High-Angle Molecular Diffraction
    Journal of the American Chemical Society, vol. 129
    2007
  • Liquid/Liquid Interface Polymerized Membranes Displaying Size- Selective Molecular and Ionic Permeability
    Langmuir, vol. 22
    2006
  • Supramolecular Porphyrinic Prisms: Coordinative Assembly and Preliminary Solution-Phase X-ray Structural
    Chemical Communications, vol. 44
    2006
  • Permeable, Microporous Polymeric Membrane Materials Constructed from Discrete Molecular Squares
    Advanced Materials, vol. 15
    2003
  • Interfacial Polymerization of Molecular Squares: Thin Microporous Membranes Featuring Size Selective Transport
    Materials Research Society Symposium Proceedings, vol. 734
    2002

Awards & Distinctions

  • Cottrell College Science Award
    Category: Research
    Research Corporation for Scientific Advancement, 2013
  • Scholarships for Tech Valley Scholars in Computational, Mathematical, and Physical Sciences
    Category: Teaching-Research-Service
    NSF S-STEM Grant, 2013
  • Lab Grad Fellowship from Argonne National Laboratory Division of Educational Programs
    Category: Teaching
    Lab Grad Fellowship from Argonne National Laboratory Division of Educational Programs, 2004
  • DOE National School on X-Ray and Neutron Scattering Scholarship
    Category: Research
    Argonne National Laboratory, 2003
  • Donald E. Smith Award for Excellence in 300-Level Teaching
    Category: Teaching
    Donald E. Smith Award for Excellence in 300-Level Teaching, 2003
  • American Institute of Chemists Award for Outstanding Senior Chemistry Major
    Category: Research
    American Institute of Chemists Award for Outstanding Senior Chemistry Major, 2000
  • Drew University Gold 'D' Award
    Category: Research
    Drew University Gold 'D' Award, 2000
  • Jean Asnell Durana Award for Outstanding Undergrad. Paper Presentation
    Category: Other
    Jean Asnell Durana Award for Outstanding Undergrad. Paper Presentation, 2000
  • Drew University International Study Scholarship
    Category: Research
    Drew University International Study Scholarship, 1999

Presentations

  • Design and Synthesis of Cholesteric Liquid Crystalline Porphyrin VOC Sensors
    March, 2016
    251st American Chemical Society National Meeting and Exposition, San Diego, California
  • Design and Synthesis of Cholesteric Liquid Crystalline Porphyrin VOC Sensors
    March, 2016
    Eastern New York Section of the American Chemical Society 8th Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium, Loudonville, New York
  • Writing research proposals across the undergraduate curriculum: Adapting a VIPEr Learning Object for use in multiple courses
    March, 2016
    251st American Chemical Society National Meeting and Exposition, San Diego, California
  • Metalloporphyrin-Based Dual-Mode Colorimetric Sensors
    2016
    Eastern New York Section of the American Chemical Society 8th Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium, Loudonville, New York
  • Siena College First Year Research Fellows
    2016
    2016 Biennial Conference on Chemical Education, Greeley, Colorado
  • Siena College Tech Valley Scholars program and STEM student retention
    2016
    2016 Biennial Conference on Chemical Education, Greeley, Colorado
  • Synthesis and characterization of thermochromic metal complexes with near room temperature spin crossover: An undergraduate laboratory experiment
    2016
    2016 Biennial Conference on Chemical Education, Greeley, Colorado
  • Writing research proposals across the undergraduate curriculum: Adapting a VIPEr learning object for use in multiple courses
    2016
    2016 Biennial Conference on Chemical Education, Greeley, Colorado
  • Electropolymerized Metalloporphyrin-Based Colorimetric Sensors
    2015
    Eastern New York Section of the American Chemical Society 7th Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium, Loudonville, New York
  • Generation of Liquid Crystalline Sensors by Alkylation of Porphyrin Species
    2015
    Eastern New York Section of the American Chemical Society 7th Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium, Loudonville, New York
  • Metalloporphyrin-Based Dual-Mode Colorimetric Sensors
    2015
    250th American Chemical Society National Meeting and Exposition, Boston, Massachusetts
  • Synthesis of Cholesteric Ligands for Liquid Crystalline Porphyrin Sensors
    2015
    Eastern New York Section of the American Chemical Society 7th Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium, Loudonville, New York
  • Redesigning the General Chemistry laboratory curriculum to an atoms-first approach
    August, 2014
    2014 Biennial Conference on Chemical Education, Allendale, Michigan
  • Preparing PUI Students for Critical Thinking, Writing, and Presentation Skills Applicable to Graduate School
    2014
    2014 Biennial Conference on Chemical Education, Allendale, Michigan
  • Sensing of Chlorocarbon and Alcohol Vapors by Electropolymerized Porphyrin Thin Films
    April, 2013
    Eastern New York Section of the American Chemical Society 5th Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium, Loudonville, New York
  • Synthesis of Discotic Liquid Crystalline Porphyrin Precursors
    April, 2013
    245th American Chemical Society National Meeting and Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Synthesis of Discotic Liquid Crystalline Porphyrin Precursors
    April, 2013
    Eastern New York Section of the American Chemical Society 5th Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium, Loudonville, New York
  • Biomimetic Recognition of Glutamic Acid
    2013
    Eastern New York Section of the American Chemical Society 5th Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium, Loudonville, New York
  • Sensing of Chlorocarbon and Alcohol Vapors by Electropolymerized Porphyrin Thin Films
    August, 2012
    244th American Chemical Society National Meeting and Exposition, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Highly Discriminatory Electropolymerized Porphyrin Sensors
    April, 2012
    Eastern New York Section of the American Chemical Society 4th Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium, Loudonville, New York
  • Synthesis of Cholesteric Liquid Crystalline Porphyrins
    April, 2012
    Eastern New York Section of the American Chemical Society 4th Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium, Loudonville, New York
  • Synthesis of Cholesteric Liquid Crystalline Porphyrins
    March, 2012
    243rd American Chemical Society National Meeting and Exposition, San Diego, California
  • Electropolymerized Ultrathin Chromophore Films for VOC Sensing
    May, 2011
    219th Electrochemical Society Meeting, Montreal, Quebec
  • Electropolymerized Ultrathin Chromophore Films for VOC Sensing
    April, 2011
    Eastern New York Section of the American Chemical Society 3rd Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium, Loudonville, New York
  • Microwave Assisted Layer-By-Layer Assembly of Choromophore Thin Films
    April, 2011
    Eastern New York Section of the American Chemical Society 3rd Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium, Loudonville, New York
  • Design of Metalloporphyrin Thin Film Materials for Colorimetric Sensing of Trace Organic Pollutants
    2011
    Invited Seminar, Union College Department of Chemistry, Schenectady, New York
  • Sensing Volatile Organics with Zinc and Copper Metalloporphyrin-Based Films
    April, 2010
    Eastern New York Section of the American Chemical Society 2nd Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium, Loudonville, New York
  • Interfacially Polymerized Thin Film Colorimetric Sensors for Volatile Organics
    April, 2009
    Eastern New York Section of the American Chemical Society 1st Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium, Loudonville, New York
  • Layer-by-Layer Self Assembled Thin Film Materials Using Conventional and Microwave Assisted Techniques
    April, 2009
    Eastern New York Section of the American Chemical Society 1st Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium, Loudonville, New York
  • Green Chemistry Labs: An Ongoing Process at Siena College
    August, 2008
    236th American Chemical Society National Meeting and Exposition, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Fabrication and Characterization of Self-Assembled Thin Film Materials for Colorimetric Sensing of Organic Pollutants
    June, 2008
    35th Northeast Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society, Burlington, Vermont
  • The Design of Smart Membrane Materials: Synthesis of Polymeric Porphyrinic Materials with Nanoscale Porosity
    2006
    Invited Seminar, Portland State University Department of Chemistry, Portland, Oregon
  • The Design of Smart Membranes: Synthesis of Polymeric Porphyrinic Materials with Nanoscale Porosity
    2006
    Invited Seminar, Lewis and Clark College Department of Chemistry, Portland, Oregon
  • Solution Phase Structural Analysis of Supramolecular Assemblies by High Angle Molecular Diffraction
    May, 2005
    Argonne National Laboratory Advanced Photon Source Users Meeting, Argonne, Illinois
  • Solution Phase Structural Analysis of Supramolecular Assemblies by High Angle Molecular Diffraction
    May, 2005
    Argonne National Laboratory Center for Nanoscale Materials Meeting, Argonne, Illinois
  • Towards New Porous Membrane Materials: Interfacial Polymerization of Porphyrins with Non-aggregating Functional Groups
    April, 2005
    Chicago Area Undergraduate Research Symposium, Chicago, Illinois
  • Nanoporous Molecular Materials for Energy Harvesting, Storage, Conversion, and Release
    June, 2004
    Department of Energy Nanosummit, Washington, District of Columbia
  • Solution Phase Structural Analysis of Supramolecular Assemblies by Wide Angle X-Ray Scattering
    May, 2004
    Argonne National Laboratory Center for Nanoscale Materials Meeting, Argonne, Illinois
  • Interfacial Polymerization of Molecular Squares: Thin Microporous Membranes Featuring Size Selective Transport
    December, 2002
    Materials Research Society Fall Meeting, Boston, Massachusetts
  • Mesoporous Porphyrin Molecular Square Membranes and Thin Films for Sensing Applications
    March, 2002
    Institute for Environmental Catalysis Industrial Associates Meeting, Evanston, Illinois
  • The Synthesis and Characterization of Novel Silica Structures Based upon Nanocrystalline Cadmium Sulfide Templates
    April, 2000
    North Jersey ACS Student Affiliates Research Conference, Madison, New Jersey