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Dr. Richard Kashmar

Professor of Chemistry and Physics

Why I Teach

Chemistry is fascinating to me at so many levels – everything from the visual appeal of the color changes of the simplest chemical reactions, to the mathematics involved in chemical kinetics and quantum theory. In teaching chemistry, I get the chance to share this fascination with students, and to impart to them something of the importance of this field, which many textbook authors have termed ‘the central science’.

Professional Activities

My primary research interests involve remediation, the removal or destruction of contaminant species from water samples. I am specifically interested in the adsorption or entrapment of contaminants onto solid surfaces, such as activated carbon; clays or minerals; biomass materials; zeolites; algae; or adsorbent polymers. I also have an interest in the use of oxidation and reduction processes to decompose contaminant molecules. Finally, I am interested in photoremediation – the use of ultraviolet light to chemically decompose organic molecular contaminants in aqueous solution. Contaminants studied would be various metal ions, or organic molecules related to those found in common consumer or household products, such as simple pharmaceutical products, food dyes, sunscreens, artificial sweeteners, antibacterial compounds, or preservatives. Analysis of the contaminant species would involve spectroscopic methods, primarily visible and ultraviolet absorption spectroscopy, or atomic absorption. My educational interests include ways to improve the teaching of introductory chemistry courses, such as improvements in course content and topic sequencing, development of in-class or hands-on activities and demonstrations, improvements in laboratory experiments, and the use of writing to teach chemistry.

Co-organizer and presider of a symposium on “Experiences with Nontraditional Freshman-Sophomore Chemistry Sequences” at the 22nd Biennial Conference on Chemical Education at main campus of Penn State University, August 2012.

Papers and Publications

  • M. J. D’Souza, R. J. Kashmar, K. Hurst, F. Fiedler, C. E. Gross, J. K. Deol, A. Wilson, “Integrative Biological Chemistry Program Includes the Use of Informatics Tools, GIS and SAS Software Applications”, Contemporary Issues in Education Research, 2015, 8(3), 193-214.
  • M. J. D’Souza, W. K. Kroen, C. B. Stephens, R. J. Kashmar, “Strategies and Initiatives that Revitalize Wesley College STEM Programs”, The Journal of College Teaching and Learning, 2015, 12(3), 195-208.
  • J. K. Deol, M. J. D’Souza, R. J. Kashmar, “Kinetics and Small-Molecule Synthesis using Chloroformate Esters”, poster presented at University of Delaware Symposium, August 2015.
  • R. J. Kashmar, “Description of an Alternative Freshman-Sophomore Chemistry Sequence and an Analysis of Student Performance,” presented at ChemEd2009 at Radford University, August 2009, at the 238th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society in Washington, D.C., August 2009, and at the annual meeting of the Mid-Atlantic Discovery Chemistry Project at Penn State Berks Campus, June 2010.
  • R. J. Kashmar, “An Alternative Freshman-Sophomore Chemistry Sequence,” presented at the 16th Biennial Conference on Chemical Education at the University of Michigan, August 2000, and at ChemEd 99 at Sacred Heart University, August 1999.
  • R. J. Kashmar, “The Use of Cut-Out Molecular Models on the Overhead Projector to Illustrate Stoichiometry and Limiting Reactants,” Journal of Chemical Education 74,791 (1997); also presented at the 14th Biennial Conference on Chemical Education at Clemson University, August 1996, and at ChemEd 95 at Old Dominion University, August 1995.
  • R. J. Kashmar and D. Boon, “Teaching Analytical Chemistry as a Writing Course,” presented at the 14th Biennial Conference on Chemical Education at Clemson University, August 1996, and at ChemEd 95 at Old Dominion University, August 1995.
  • R. J. Kashmar, W. Kroen, and D. Boon, “Analysis of the Results of a Science Orientation Exam,”presented at ChemEd 93 at Butler University in Indianapolis, August 1993.


  • Ph.D., Physical Chemistry, University of Pittsburgh
  • M.S., Chemistry, University of Rochester
  • B.S., Chemistry, Carnegie Mellon University

Courses Taught

  • CH130 Chemistry for Allied Health
  • CH150 Chemistry I
  • CH160 Chemistry II
  • CH305 Physical Chemistry for Life Sciences
  • CH310 Analytical Chemistry

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