B.S., Goucher College; Ph.D., University of Maryland (College Park)
Geraldine O. EchebiriInstructor in Chemistry Laboratory
My graduate research centered on understanding the factors that affect collisional deactivation of highly excited molecules. Collisional deactivation is an important process because it results in removal of the excitation energy from the excited molecule and thus, can prevent reactions such as unimolecular dissociation from occurring. In a reaction such as unimolecular dissociation, the excitation energy is used by the excited molecule to overcome the activation energy of breaking chemical bonds between its atoms. Removal of the excitation energy by collisional deactivation will prevent the dissociation from occurring. Unimolecular dissociations are important reactions since atmospheric processes such as ozone depletion takes place by this reaction. An understanding of the factors affecting collisional quenching of excited molecules will allow better understanding of the factors affecting processes in the atmosphere and the environment.
Conducting my graduate research projects allowed me to gain expertise in performing low-pressure, gas-phase, transient spectroscopy. My graduate work enabled me to acquire skills in operating and troubleshooting optical and electronics instruments such as IR lasers, UV lasers, photodetectors and oscilloscopes. I am also skilled at troubleshooting vacuum systems and can apply this skill to build a vacuum system.
At Wellesley College, I have had the opportunity of teaching Organic Chemistry I and Physical Chemistry I Laboratory Courses. My prior teaching experience at the University of Maryland included being a teaching assistant for Organic Chemistry I laboratory, General Chemistry and Physical Chemistry lectures. I have also tutored students in General Chemistry for several years. My years of teaching experience has been very rewarding, and has substantially improved my ability to explain chemistry concepts to students in chemistry and non-chemistry majors. Teaching has also played a major role in sharpening my communication and interpersonal skills.
I spend my free time with family and friends. I enjoy a variety of music and like singing. I am interested in playing musical instruments and plan to learn to play a guitar.