As the Director of Introductory Chemistry Laboratories, Professor O’Connell oversees the operations of the General and Organic laboratory courses. In addition to supervising graduate Teaching Assistants, who are the instructors for these courses, she is responsible for establishing the course content. The experiments for these courses are accessible on the department's website: www.bc.edu/chemistry/undergrad/labcourses.html
Professor O’Connell has strengthened the introductory laboratory curriculum by implementing “open-ended” projects in both the General and Organic lab courses, which serve to culminate each semester. These projects require students to devise their own experimental procedures to solve a problem or explore a chemical principle. Students work cooperatively in groups of two to four to carry out these projects.
Professor O’ Connell has also implemented a support program for new international Teaching Assistants (ITAs) that uses senior chemistry and biochemistry majors as guides for the ITAs. She has developed a Preparing Future Faculty program for graduate students who are interested in pursuing an academic career by organizing seminars and visits to local undergraduate institutions. Professor O’Connell also serves as an advisor to and a role model for the Women in Science and Technology Program.
Representative Key Presentations and Publications:
O'Connell, L. A., Panichas, M. A., Barrett, S. M. Undergraduate guide program for international teaching assistants in chemistry at Boston College: A description and assessment. In International students: Strengthening a critical resource; Andrade, M., Evans, N., Eds.; American Council on Education/Rowman and Littlefield Education, 2009.
"Problem-based Inquiry in College Chemistry Lab." Panichas, M. A., O'Connell, L. A., Albert, L. R. Academic Exchange Quarterly, 2009, 13, p. 13.
The Use of Calibrated Peer Review in an Organic Laboratory Course. O’Connell, L.A. 17th Biennial Conference on Chemical Education, Western Washington University, July 28-August 1, 2002.