Schwartz received her Ph.D. in Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Michigan and is the co-author of many published papers in her field of expertise. She is deeply involved in the UNH community with both students and faculty, serving as chair of the Faculty Information Technology Advising Committee and as a member of the Honors Program Committee. We sat down with Pauline Schwartz and learned what she is doing inside and outside of the classroom.
The students. It is a very diverse student body and I enjoy working with students in the classroom and on independent projects.
You need to be able to relate well to students. The instructor has to be there and be involved be a part of the university. I think you have to be good in your field, keep current, and provide information outside of the textbook. If you want to be effective show that you too are fascinated by your field of study.
It is easy for chemistry because it is a naturally fundamental science, and chemistry has practical applications in so many areas.
My background is in organic chemistry with a focus on medicinal chemistry. Recently, I have been involved with computational chemistry.
I recommend that students get involved in research. It does not necessarily need to be science, do something that makes you unique and the best way to do this is through research. We have a lot of under utilized opportunities here at UNH. Research is a part of experiential education that gets you connected to those on campus. College is the chance to make something of yourself. Do something beyond just “schoolwork”.
The greatest challenge is resources. We are trying to get accredited by the American Chemistry Society yet there are instruments and staff that we don’t have that we would need for this accreditation. We would be much more attractive to prospective students if we had this accreditation.
The UNH advantage is that we are very high tech. We have faculty and student research. Another plus about UNH is the one-on-one learning.
I see teaching becoming more high tech. Next semester I plan on incorporating more online quizzes in my organic chemistry class. I also plan to use 3-D images so students had better understand the shapes of compounds.
I use the smart classroom, Blackboard, Tegrity, and Qwizdom. Qwizdom is a software package that can be used to test students’ knowledge as you present a powerpoint presentation. You ask a question and then the students use a clicker to send their answers into the system. The teacher can then view the distribution of answers to learn how well a concept or theory is understood. This process engages students in their learning experience.
The newest area of research within chemistry is computational chemistry and systems chemistry. Systems chemistry is a relatively new area that started about two to three years ago. Systems chemistry looks at all reactions and how they interact. You find very complex behavior emerges or arises in complex systems that would not be expected if you just look at individual reactions.
Currently I am working on the connection between Parrondo’s paradox and chemistry along with Dr. Carl Barratt and two to three UNH students. We looked at chemical models and how they related to Parrondo’s paradox. We have found chemical systems that behave in a counterintuitive manner. The research was presented at William Paterson University. The students won a travel award to the National American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
I went to a five-year undergraduate school where I did research on campus and this fascinated me and I wanted to do more of it here at UNH.
Yes, overwhelmingly technology at UNH creates a more effective and efficient educational process for both students and teachers. Students are tech savvy and want to learn this way. I hope that we will have more faculty buying into the use of technology in the classroom. Here at UNH we have excellent state of the art lab equipment for chemistry. We have a GC-MS or gas chromatography mass spectroscopy, and IR or infra red machine, a HPLC or high pressure liquid chromatography. These analytical tools are utilized by both faculty and students in labs and research.