Adjunct Associate Professor of Chemistry; Director of Introductory Chemistry Laboratories; Chair, Undergraduate Chemistry Studies
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 Introductory Chemistry Laboratory website.
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.