Sewanee Chemistry Department

Sewanee Chemistry Department


One of our work-study students getting photo bombed!
It has been a while since anyone has posted here but we need a bit of help from all our old majors. Send Prof. Bachman a note letting him know what you are doing these days (if you have finished another degree after Sewanee let us know that too). We will use the info to make you "famous" on the alumni section of our department website.
I just received an email from a Sewanee trustee with information about a job in the environmental field for a chemist. Contact me directly if you want the details.

The Atomic Dashboard is a new interactive chemistry resource and learning tool developed for the Mac. Used by educators, students, scientists, and the simply curious, The Atomic Dashboard features an interactive periodic table that lets you explore the chemical elements – their properties, periodic trends, history, and relevance to society. And more exciting, with its new 3D Molecule Library, and its physics-based, 3D models of atomic orbitals, molecules, compounds, gases, and crystals, The Atomic Dashboard helps you explore the relationships between the behavior of atoms and molecules and their 3D structure.
Wanna make $4000/month working from home ? If so, my suggestion to anyone is to sign on and participate in this program. You will be pleasantly surprised, as i was. You will be truly excited about the potential of success with this business visjch
Is anybody coming up to Boston for the Fall meeting? Congrats on the new MS!

7 cool professors + a talented lab coordinator + lots of neat majors = one big happy family!

Operating as usual

VC transition announcement 12/01/2021

VC transition announcement

VC transition announcement Vice-Chancellor Reuben Brigety has announced that he will resign effective Dec. 21, in light of the duty he would feel to accept a nomination by President Joe Biden to serve as the U.S. ambassador to the Republic of South Africa.


As we continue celebrating first-generation students this week, we talk to Sewanee students, faculty, and staff who identify as first-gen to learn about the unique challenges they face and the many ways they’ve overcome them. Read about their personal experiences in their own words here:

Photos from Sewanee Chemistry Department's post 10/29/2021

We always have a great time celebrating Halloween! dtm

Board of Regents establishes Names and Places Committee 10/13/2021

Board of Regents establishes Names and Places Committee

Prof. Miles is a co-chair on this committee. dtm

Board of Regents establishes Names and Places Committee By Meridith FrazeeStaff Writer On September 23, the Vice-Chancellor announced the formation of the Names and Places committee that will examine locations marked with personal honorifics. The Board …

Periodic graphics: The chemistry of nanotechnology 10/09/2021

Periodic graphics: The chemistry of nanotechnology

Happy Nano Day! dtm

Periodic graphics: The chemistry of nanotechnology Chemical educator and Compound Interest blogger Andy Brunning explains the chemistry behind the nanotechnology in products around your house.

Names & Places Committee 09/23/2021

Names & Places Committee

Names & Places Committee We are writing to update you on some important work taking place at the University. The Board of Regents has established a committee to support their plan for evaluating the University’s past ties to the Confederacy and the ideology of white supremacy underlying it. This group, made of faculty, st...

Vaccination Requirement Aug. 26 08/26/2021

Vaccination Requirement Aug. 26

Vaccination Requirement Aug. 26 I am so happy to see our campus full and energized as classes began this week. The University has continued to express that the key to ending this pandemic is for as many people as possible to get vaccinated. I am very pleased to share that 90% of our students have done so. Two-thirds of our faculty...

Deon Miles '97: Think About the Human Aspect 06/22/2021

Deon Miles '97: Think About the Human Aspect

My alma mater did a small feature on me. Enjoy! dtm

Deon Miles '97: Think About the Human Aspect Dr. Deon Miles '97 has been a member of the faculty at Sewanee since 2002. In this Q&A, he talks of teaching, his experiences in the classroom and lab, and his path from Gary, Indiana, to a tenured professorship atop the Cumberland Plateau.


So proud of our four chemistry graduates!

Photos from University of the South's post 05/23/2021

Photos from University of the South's post


Please join us in congratulating the winners of the 2020-21 College faculty awards:

Excellence in Advising: Associate Professor of Economics Aaron Elrod

Excellence in Scholarship: Professor of Environmental Arts and Humanities and Anthropology Celeste Ray and Professor of Rhetoric and American Studies Sean O’Rourke

Excellence in Service to the Institution: Associate Professor of Biology Alyssa Summers and Assistant Professor of Biology Clint Smith

Excellence in Teaching: Professor of Mathematics Emily Puckette


YSR! dtm

Earlier this week, the Princeton Review released its Top-20 Best Schools for Making an Impact.

The University of the South came in sixth overall and tops in the southeast!

Sewanee was also ranked in four other categories.



#TigerTuesday2021 04/14/2021


#TigerTuesday2021 Join me and make a gift to


The Chemistry Department at the University of the South is excited to announce a new scholarship option for students at the University. Starting with the current class of first-year and second-year students (Class of 2024 and 2023, respectively), those students who declare a chemistry major by the end of the academic year will be awarded a scholarship covering their tuition to the program. More details about this wonderful opportunity to follow, so stay tuned! Please share this information with students who do not follow this page. Thanks! dtm 04.01.2021.

Creating the COVID Classroom 03/19/2021

Creating the COVID Classroom

The latest Sewanee Features tells a story about the classroom on campus during the time of COVID. Prof. Miles is featured in the story. Enjoy! dtm

Creating the COVID Classroom When it came to equipping faculty to teach through a pandemic, Sewanee had a 25-year-old secret weapon that was purpose-built for the challenge.

Timeline photos 03/10/2021

Timeline photos

Pandemic Teaching Highlight of the Week! Are you remotely teaching an instrumental analysis course during the pandemic? This article provides a thorough example of what a Lab-in-a-Box could include and a great break down of experiments that could be done using it.


It is with great sadness that we share news of the passing of Dr. William (Bill) Guenther, F. B. Williams Professor of Chemistry, Emeritus. Bill passed away peacefully on Thursday, February 25, 2021. Bill taught at the university from 1956 until his retirement in 1987. Additional information can be found at the following link:


In recognition of Black History Month, here is an article from Chemical and Engineering News highlighting the achievements of Black chemists. dtm

Here are 5 Black chemists you may have not learned about in school. Learn more about these Black chemists and others you should know about at

➡️ Winifred Burks-Houck was a prominent Black environmental chemist and the first woman president of the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers.
➡️ Charles Drew discovered that blood could be preserved for longer times when plasma and red blood cells were separated, giving him the title “father of the blood bank.”
➡️ James Andrew Harris, alongside his team at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in the ’60s, discovered two elements: 104, rutherfordium, and 105, dubnium.
➡️ Angie Turner King became a prominent science educator in a time when few Black women were scientists. During her career she mentored many successful scientists.
➡️ Josephine Silone Yates was an accomplished chemist, writer, and civil rights activist. She became the first certified Black teacher in Rhode Island and the first Black woman to lead a college department.

At the conclusion of the fall semester, some colleges say their COVID containment strategies worked 12/17/2020

At the conclusion of the fall semester, some colleges say their COVID containment strategies worked

At the conclusion of the fall semester, some colleges say their COVID containment strategies worked Some colleges say the fall semester went better than they anticipated during the pandemic and are touting their success at keeping infection rates low.


The University of the South in Sewanee, TN, seeks a Visiting Assistant Professor of Chemistry for a full-time, one-year, non-tenure-track term appointment beginning in August 2021. Area of concentration is open.
Primary teaching responsibilities will be in general chemistry and in the candidate’s specialty. A Ph.D. is highly preferred, but ABD applicants will be considered. We are seeking candidates with a strong commitment to undergraduate teaching. dtm

Photos from Sewanee Chemistry Department's post 11/03/2020


On Friday, October 30, the chemistry department presented their annual prizes and awards. The following students were recognized for their achievements:

Edith King Amason was awarded the Louis George Hoff Memorial Scholarship for Attainment in Chemistry. Established in 1947 by his parents as a living memorial to their son, the Hoff scholarship is awarded, as designated by the Vice-Chancellor and head of the Department of Chemistry, to an outstanding senior chemistry major.

Abbie Murphy Kleckley and Lucy Jordan Smith were awarded the First-Year Chemistry Achievement Award. Originally called the Handbook Award, this award is given to the outstanding freshman student in general chemistry. It is noted that for a significant period of time, this award was sponsored by the Chemical Rubber Company (CRC). Previously, students were awarded a CRC handbook, which was an invaluable resource for chemists prior to the age of the Internet.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ceremony was held outside in a tent just outside of the Spencer-Woods complex. After the lunch and ceremony, the chemistry department enjoyed a spirited game of “Chemistry Jeopardy”. The game had three teams: faculty, seniors, and juniors/sophomores. The team led by the seniors was victorious! Additionally, because of the Halloween theme to the ceremony, some students and faculty were in costume for the occasion.


How big is a mole? (Not the animal, the other one.) - Daniel Dulek 10/23/2020

How big is a mole? (Not the animal, the other one.) - Daniel Dulek

The 23rd of October is a special day for us chemists. Happy Mole Day! dtm

How big is a mole? (Not the animal, the other one.) - Daniel Dulek The word “mole” suggests a small, furry burrowing animal to many. But in this lesson, we look at the concept of the mole in chemistry. Learn the incredible magnitude of the mole--and how something so big can help us calculate the tiniest particles in the world.


Happy Halloween (a little early)!

Blackman Auditorium is haunted this morning. The lights won't turn off. When all the power is turned off, the lights flicker ominously.

Nanotechnology - American Chemical Society 10/09/2020

Nanotechnology - American Chemical Society

October 9th is a special day for a small number of us.

Nanotechnology - American Chemical Society American Chemical Society: Chemistry for Life.


Breaking news in the world of chemistry! dtm

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna “for the development of a method for genome editing.”

Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna have discovered one of gene technology’s sharpest tools: the CRISPR/Cas9 genetic scissors. Using these, researchers can change the DNA of animals, plants and microorganisms with extremely high precision. This technology has had a revolutionary impact on the life sciences, is contributing to new cancer therapies and may make the dream of curing inherited diseases come true.

Researchers need to modify genes in cells if they are to find out about life’s inner workings. This used to be time-consuming, difficult and sometimes impossible work. Using the CRISPR/Cas9 genetic scissors, it is now possible to change the code of life over the course of a few weeks.

Since Charpentier and Doudna discovered the CRISPR/Cas9 genetic scissors in 2012 their use has exploded. This tool has contributed to many important discoveries in basic research, and plant researchers have been able to develop crops that withstand mould, pests and drought. In medicine, clinical trials of new cancer therapies are underway, and the dream of being able to cure inherited diseases is about to come true. These genetic scissors have taken the life sciences into a new epoch and, in many ways, are bringing the greatest benefit to humankind.

Press release:
Popular information:
Advanced information:

The Cube Rule 09/23/2020

The Cube Rule

We have enjoyed deep conversations between faculty and students over the "Periodic Table" in the dining hall recently. However, in the age of COVID-19, we have been limited in meeting together. So, I would like to open up one of our deep conversations in this space. Here is a question to start the conversation:

Should the hot dog be considered a sandwich?

Take a look at the link below and provide your input in the comments. Thanks. dtm

The Cube Rule

Dwell Together in Unity 09/05/2020

Dwell Together in Unity

Dwell Together in Unity This is "Dwell Together in Unity" by University of the South on Vimeo, the home for high quality videos and the people who love them.

Photos from University of the South's post 08/20/2020


Eric Benjamin (Mister B) Portrait Fund organized by Friends of Eric Benjamin 08/12/2020

Eric Benjamin (Mister B) Portrait Fund organized by Friends of Eric Benjamin

A great way to recognize an important person on our campus. dtm

Eric Benjamin (Mister B) Portrait Fund organized by Friends of Eric Benjamin When Eric Benjamin announced his decision to retire from his position … Friends of Eric Benjamin needs your support for Eric Benjamin (Mister B) Portrait Fund


Vice-Chancellor's Update


Lab-in-a-box: A Guide for Remote Laboratory Instruction in an Instrumental Analysis Course | Labs and Simulations 07/28/2020

Lab-in-a-box: A Guide for Remote Laboratory Instruction in an Instrumental Analysis Course | Labs and Simulations

Lab-in-a-box: A Guide for Remote Laboratory Instruction in an Instrumental Analysis Course | Labs and Simulations This Journal of Chemical Education Article describes a homemade kit with at home, hands on laboratory experiments in spectroscopy and chromatography.



Prof. Deon Miles and Chemistry Laboratory Coordinator Dr. Grady Wells recently wrote an article published in the Journal of Chemical Education entitled “Lab-in-a-Box: A Guide for Remote Laboratory Instruction in an Instrumental Analysis Course”. The article was submitted in response to a call for articles in a special issue entitled “Insights Gained While Teaching Chemistry in the Time of COVID-19”. This paper describes a homemade kit for conducting remote laboratory instruction in the instrumental analysis course. The motivation behind the construction of the kit was in response to the lack of commercially available options for the instrumental analysis course.

The abstract for the article is provided below:
Hands-on learning in a laboratory is an integral part of the undergraduate experience for chemistry students. However, with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, an opportunity for this approach was not possible. The pandemic has been forcing instructors to explore the remote setting instead of the laboratory. There are several commercially available kits for remote laboratory instruction in general chemistry, organic chemistry, and biochemistry. Kits provide students with a majority of necessary items to conduct scientific experiments in their homes. Unfortunately, there are no commercially available kit options for laboratory exercises in an instrumental analysis course. Here, we describe a homemade kit that focuses on two important pillars of instrumental analysis: spectroscopy and chromatography. The total cost of the kit is about 700 USD; this amount can be reduced significantly if a “do-it-yourself” spectrometer is employed instead of a commercial model. Details about kit contents and experiments performed are described.

The article can be accessed at the following URL:


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Happy Halloween (a little early)!
Sewanee Chemistry and Tennessine






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