New chemistry professor after enrollment increase

Haley Baker

The chemistry department hired a new tenure track professor this semester in response to an increase in enrollment.

Jacob Shelley, who has a doctorate in Analytical Chemistry, joined the department teaching a graduate course this semester as his first formal teaching job.

The Humboldt Scholar was one of about 50 applicants hoping to fill a tenure track teaching position and said it was “an incredibly big honor to be chosen for this position.”

“I enjoy [teaching] a lot and being able to interact with the students and convey messages that you could get from a book but in a way that the students could understand it,” Shelley said.

Department Chair Michael Tubergen said he is excited to have Shelley as part of the chemistry faculty because of his successful research and long list of prior experience.

“Since we’ve had financial troubles, we look closely at tenure track hires,” Tubergen said. “Tenure track hires are very precious. We sought to hire someone in analytical chemistry because it can easily lead to employment and that will attract students. He is successful in research, working with Graham Cooks and being a Humboldt Scholar, and he has the ability to connect with students. He is a great addition to our department.”

The search began two years ago with Professor Jaroniec Mietek on the committee. Mietek said Shelley’s specialization in mass spectrometry is hard to find.

“In the past we have looked for analytical chemists and it has not been easy to find researchers in this area and we have still a need for analytical chemistry in the department for the future,” Mietek said. “Students who are interested in this particular field are very lucky to have him and we are happy that he joined our department.”

Shelley earned his doctorate in Analytical Chemistry from Indiana University, and he subsequently worked as a postdoctoral associate with Professor R. Graham Cooks at Purdue University.  He was awarded an Alexander von Humboldt Postdoctoral Fellowship to work with Professors Uwe Karst and Carsten Engelhard at the University of Muenster [Germany]. Shelley has also collaborated with researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

“My goal is to be a mentor to students,” Shelley said. “That’s why I want to be here. Really, it’s about being able to provide people with an education and to see them grow. It’s the most fascinating things about teaching to watch them learn and to see the light bulb go off in their head, not just in the class, but in the research lab as well.”

Contact Haley Baker at [email protected].