General Chemistry Lab Coordinator
Degrees: B.S., Youngstown State University; M.S., Kent State University
Mrs. Whitworth joined the department in June 1992. She began her career as an industrial chemist during the start-up of North Star Steel in Youngstown, Ohio. After transferring to Cleveland, she entered into the field of water analyses and treatment with the Dexter Mogul Corporation and went on to investigate the effects of ozone in treating drinking water at the Shenango Valley Water Company. In 1989, Mrs. Whitworth took a year to pursue her M.A. in Education, after which she taught high school chemistry and math. Once again, returning to industry, she performed research in the pulping and bleaching for papermaking at Quantum Technologies. Using her extensive experience in industry and education, Mrs. Whitworth teaches all sections of the General Chemistry Laboratory sequence. Her labs are taught as an outcome-based, challenging experience designed to provide students with the intellectual, experimental, and interactive skills needed to participate effectively in future chemical science classes. Her rigorous program in general chemistry lab engages the student in the molecular perspective of chemistry and encourages extension of their understanding of chemistry through experimentation. Her class allows the students to develop their ability to work safely in a laboratory environment, to communicate through oral and written expression, to work effectively as a member of a team, to ask questions, to design simple experiments, and to interpret results with error analyses within the context of their current scientific knowledge. She re-designed many of the experiments to engage her students in more of an inquiry based learning. She has improved the quality of the General Lab courses by re-writing the experiments and compiling them into a manual. Many of her experiments are also used in the Honors General Chemistry lab course. She incorporated the use of computers and Vernier probes to collect and analyze data. She is responsive to student needs by developing course content and delivery that provides them with the information to be successful in general chemistry lab. The laboratory lecture accommodates a variety of learning styles and currently uses the Flipped Classroom where instruction is shifted to a learner-centered approach. She produced and edited short video lectures that are viewed by students at home before the lab session. In-lab time is devoted to performing the experiment, analyzing data and discussing the results. Employing Ignatian pedagogy, she continually assesses the laboratory curriculum to ensure that it reflects the level and needs of current students. Hence experiments and topics are continually being improved. Mrs. Whitworth currently uses grading rubrics on Canvas to measure student mastery. She has implemented a lab practical at the end of the laboratory course sequence to measure student mastery of laboratory techniques and applications.
Outside of the laboratory, she is a mentor to former students and an advisor to current students. She promotes student vocational discernment and provides work-study opportunities for approximately 20 students a semester as teaching assistants for her labs.