New Additions to the Department

Dr. Margaret (Meg) Greenslade joined the UNH Chemistry Department faculty in August of 2007 as an Assistant Professor (Physical and Atmospheric Chemistry). Pursuing her lifelong interest in science, Meg completed her B.A. in chemistry, with a minor in mathematics, at Bryn Mawr College in 1998. There she carried out synthetic chemistry research with Frank B. Mallory. After working for two years, she returned to school to complete her Ph.D. in physical chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania in 2005. For her doctoral thesis directed by Marsha I. Lester, Meg employed spectroscopic methods to characterize the hydroxyl radical and its complexes with other small, atmospherically important molecules. As part of her thesis research, she worked with David H. Parker and his research group at the University of Nijmegen in the Netherlands for six weeks. Between 2005 and 2007, Dr. Greenslade was a Research Scientist at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Science (CIRES) at University of Colorado, Boulder and an affiliate of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Meg Greenslade Meg has lived in nine states and completed high school in Scottsdale, Arizona. She has played badminton competitively including three years in high school and all four years of college. She has also been known to ring handbells – if you Google her, you will find she’s on an album with Doc Severinsen and the Tonight Show Orchestra. In her spare time she enjoys cooking, baking, Pilates and running. One of her proudest moments was completing the Flying Pig marathon.

Since her arrival at UNH, Professor Greenslade has worked to improve the physical chemistry laboratory sequence, obtaining new equipment and working on the organization of the course. She has also planned for the new space the teaching lab will occupy after the Parsons renovation is complete. In the fall 2009, Professor Greenslade began the revitalization of a graduate course in spectroscopy from the physical chemistry standpoint. She will teach this course again and will also have the opportunity to teach Physical Chemistry III and Advanced Physical Chemistry at the graduate level in the near future.
Dr. Greenslade and her research group are interested in the ubiquitous aerosol. “Aerosols are fine particles in the atmosphere and are larger than most chemistry, sometimes even exceeding the “nano” size range. These species influence climate change and are important in other fields such as combustion, medicine and atmospheric chemistry. In our research, we use a custom cavity ring down instrument to investigate the extinction (scattering plus absorption) of these particles. We also use a custom, adjustable path length differential optical absorption instrument for similar studies. In addition, we have a scanning particle mobility sizer that classifies particles by their mobility size; this allows us to constrain our experiments. With these tools, we hope to advance the connections between aerosol chemical properties and their optical properties. Specifically, we are investigating the optical response of water uptake on a variety of aerosols. We are also beginning to tease out the optical properties of aerosol samples composed of different mixtures, where internal versus external mixtures of the same chemicals are of particular interest. In the future, we plan to use our instruments in conjunction with the AIRMAP suite of measurements to characterize ambient aerosols at Thompson Farm.”

Dr. Thomas Harris joined the University of New Hampshire Department of Chemistry in August of 2009 as Organic Laboratory Coordinator. Tom received his B.S. degree (chemistry major) from Saginaw Valley State University, and his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of New Hampshire under the mentorship of Dr. Robert E. Lyle. Graduation from UNH was followed by a NIH post-doctoral research fellowship in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Oregon with Dr. Virgil Boekelheide. Tom then accepted a teaching position at SUNY Fredonia, achieving the position of Associate Professor before making a career change to an industrial R&D position with DuPont Pharma (subsequently acquired by Bristol-Myers Squibb) in Billerica, MA. The work in Billerica centered around the discovery and development of in vivo medical imaging agents based on the gamma-emitting isotope Tc-99m. Tom’s team successfully discovered drugs capable of imaging infection/inflammation, cancer, and deep vein thrombosis. This work is described in 26 referred publications and 18 patents. Tom maintained close ties with the UNH Chemistry Department while working in Billerica, including a five-year collaboration with Professors Weisman and Wong, and an eight-year term on the CEPS Industrial Advisory Board. Tom has now returned to his academic roots, becoming a Wildcat once more!

Tom has a number of interests outside of work. The adventuresome side enjoys winter mountaineering sports and racing his Porsche. The contemplative side enjoys large-format B&W photography with printing done by traditional wet darkroom techniques.
Tom Harris

Tom’s teaching interests include both science majors and nonscience majors. His tenure in industry has given him a keen sense of the skill sets and attitudes that are required by the chemical industry. This knowledge helps guide the selection of teaching methods and experiment selection. A second goal is to foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of the role chemistry plays in our lives, and the degree to which chemistry intersects with other disciplines. Where appropriate, relevance is incorporated in lecture material and laboratory experiments by the use of real-world examples. The principal goal for the “Science and the Citizen” type of class is to provide students with a framework for developing a toolkit they can use to sort through and critically analyze the conflicting information encountered in the larger world. Real-world examples (and controversies) are used to teach critical thinking skills and concepts such as falsifiability and Occam’s Razor. Currently, Tom enjoys teaching CH 545, the one-semester Organic Chemistry survey course and associated lab, and the two-semester Organic Chemistry Laboratory, CH 653/654.

Dr. Gonghu Li joined the Department as Assistant Professor of Chemistry (Physical Chemistry) in August of 2009. He received a B.S. degree in Chemical Education from Hubei Normal University in China and a M.S. degree in Chemistry under the supervision of Prof. Weizhu An at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. In August 2000, he went to the University of Iowa to pursue a Ph.D. degree with Vicki Grassian and Prof. Sarah Larsen. Upon completing his doctoral thesis in May 2005, Gonghu joined Prof. Kimberly Gray’s research group for postdoctoral training in the Center for Catalysis and Surface Science at Northwestern University. In November 2007, he moved to the east coast and worked as a Postdoctoral Associate with Prof. Gary Brudvig at Yale University prior to joining UNH. Gonghu also holds a joint appointment in the Materials Science Program at UNH.

An urgent challenge faced by the world is to find viable solutions to meet our energy needs while maintaining the quality of our environment. The discovery of new materials with improved properties will play a pivotal role in achieving a sustainable future.

At UNH, Gonghu’s research group utilizes the principles of catalysis and nanoscience to develop functional composite nanomaterials for energy and environmental applications. Specifically, nanomaterials are being synthesized and functionalized with molecular catalysts. One potential application of such functional materials is solar fuel production by reducing CO2 into CH4 and CH3OH as energy-rich fuels (Figure 1). A variety of techniques, including N2/CO2 adsorption, XRD, microscopy, UV-vis, IR, and EPR spectroscopy, are used to characterize the functional nanomaterials.

Figure 1: Schematic of an artificial photosynthetic cell which converts solar into chemical energy (C: light-harvesting chromophore; Ox: water-oxidation catalyst; Red: CO2-reduction catalyst). Figure

Gonghu is currently developing a new graduate course entitled “Surface Chemistry and Catalysis”. He has been teaching Graduate Seminars and will be teaching physical chemistry lecture and laboratory courses in the future.

Dr. Sam Pazicni joined the faculty of the University of New Hampshire Department of Chemistry in August of 2009 as Assistant Professor of Chemistry. Sam completed his Ph.D. in Chemistry at the University of Wisconsin under the mentorship of Prof. Judith Burstyn and received a Certificate in Research, Teaching, and Learning. He also received B.A.s in Chemistry and Music from Washington and Jefferson College in Washington, PA. Immediately prior to becoming a Wildcat, Sam was a post-doctoral research and teaching fellow in the Departments of Chemistry and Biophysics at the University of Michigan, where he was mentored by Profs. James Penner-Hahn and Brian Coppola (a UNH alumnus!).

Sam Pazicni Sam grew up in southwestern Pennsylvania where he was a competitive roller skater for over ten years. In his spare time, Sam enjoys theatre and music and likes to perform and direct with community theatre organizations and choirs. He also is an avid roller-blader and a pretty darn good cook!

Prof. Pazicni strives to bridge the gap between research in the chemistry laboratory and research in chemistry education by viewing both as places to carry out experiments integral to chemistry scholarship. In the classroom, he is interested in developing instructional methodologies to facilitate peer instruction in the classroom; designing assessment methods to evaluate learning progressions in undergraduate chemistry; enhancing graduate student professional development through teaching.

In the laboratory, he is interested in the chemistry and biochemistry of heme proteins and heme transport/sensing; exploring the structure-function relationships of heme-thiolate proteins and enzymes; application of synchrotron radiation techniques to questions in metallobiochemistry and metallophysiology. Laboratory and Classroom

Currently, Prof. Pazicni enjoys teaching Chemistry 405, “Chemical Principles for Engineers,” and hopes to soon get other courses under his belt, including those in inorganic and physical chemistry, as well as courses in chemistry teaching and chemistry education research.

Dr. Patricia Stone Wilkinson joined the University Instrumentation Center in 2007, a year prior to Kathy Gallagher’s retirement, and she has ably taken up the mantle of resident NMR expert here at UNH. She is also an Affiliate Faculty member of the Department of Chemistry. She is a UNH alumna, having earned her B.S. in 1988 working with Professor Paul Jones for her Senior Thesis. She earned her Ph.D. in organic chemistry in 1993 at Brandeis University working with Professor Tom Pochapsky. Pat’s research during graduate school involved the study of the solution structure of organic ion pairs by NMR spectroscopy.  Following graduate school, Pat was employed as an NMR applications scientist for Bruker BioSpin Corporation for 14 years, where she conducted user training and customer demonstrations, participated in the development of new hardware and software products and applications, and provided technical support for customers. Pat is well versed in many different applications of NMR spectroscopy.

Pat Wilkinson