Department of Chemistry
West Chester University
Office: 119 Schmucker
Science Center South
West Chester, PA 19383
Phone (610) 436-2631
Fax (610) 436-2890
Email: Department Chair
Professor James Pruitt joined the chemistry department in Fall 2011. He received his B.S. and Ph.D. in organic chemistry from University of California Los Angeles. In addition to teaching, he has worked as a researcher and manager in the pharmaceutical industry, including stints at DuPont, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Incyte and Cytokine PharmaSciences. His research involves natural product isolation and characterization, searching for antibiotics from actinomyces cultures and antivirals from plant extracts. Another component of his research is devoted to the synthesis of small molecules that have antiinflammatory activity. His active undergraduate research group has presented at multiple local and national scientific meetings and has a strong publication record.
Professor Monica Joshi completed her B.S. in Chemistry, Biochemistry and Microbiology in 2003 at St. Francis Degree College and her M.S. in Forensic chemistry and toxicology in 2005 at Osmania University in India. As part of the MS program, she gained laboratory experience in the State Forensic Science Laboratory (APFSL) and the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL). She trained with the forensic scientists and studied casework in the different evidence analysis departments such as the toxicology, serology, anthropology, ballistics, questioned documents and the chemistry departments. She completed her Ph.D. in Chemistry at Florida International University in 2010. Throughout her years at FIU, she had opportunities to teach undergraduate level courses and present research at several national and international scientific meetings such as the annual American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) and the Gordon Research Conferences (GRC). Three research papers have been published in peer reviewed journals and have been well received.
Professor Kurt Kolasinski joined the chemistry department in Fall 2006. He received his B.A. from The University of Pittsburgh and his Ph.D. from Stanford University. Most recently he was a research associate professor and director of the CAMOS Ultrafast Laser Laboratory at the University of Virginia. His research concentrates on the study of dynamical processes at the surfaces of metals and semiconductors with a special emphasis on structure formation and laser-surface interactions. He is currently teaching General Chemistry Lab, and Physical Chemistry Lecture and Lab. Check out his website.
Professor Karyn Usher joined the chemistry department in the Fall of 2005. She completed her B.A. and Ph.D. at Florida State University. Her research involves studying the fundamental band broadening processes in Liquid Chromatography. She has taught General Chemistry lectures and labs and Analytical Chemistry lecture and lab. She has had an active research group involving several undergraduate students since the Fall of 2005. Check out her website.
Professor Mahrukh Azam joined the chemistry department in Fall of 2004. She Completed her B.S. at Seton Hall University and her Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research focuses on the characterization of secondary structures, GDNA formed from telomeric sequences. She has taught General Chemistry lecture and labs, Biochemistry labs and Forensic and Toxicological Chemistry labs. She has had an active research group involving several undergraduate students since the Spring of 2005.