Group Members

Professor Ginger Shultz

5/03/16 Chemistry Faculty Labs Day 2

Ginger’s interest in education began when she was an undergraduate at the Evergreen State College, where the progressive curriculum shaped her early views on learning. She went on to earn a Ph.D. in polymer chemistry at the University of Oregon, where she also taught hands-on science to elementary school children through an NSF GK-12 fellowship. After graduate school, she transitioned to education-focused research through a teaching postdoc in Chemistry at the University of Michigan. In 2013 she was named a UM Presidential Fellow and began pursuing educational research full-time. Ginger joined the faculty in the Department of Chemistry as an Assistant Professor in 2016.




Dr. Solaire Finkenstaedt-Quinn, MWrite Project 

Solaire has a joint appointment in the Chemistry Department and Sweetland Center for Writing at the University of Michigan. Her research involves development, implementation, and assessment of writing assignments in large, intro-level STEM courses. As a graduate student, her research was in the field of bioanalytical chemistry at the University of Minnesota and involved using platelets as a model system to investigate how the cytoskeleton directs granule release during exocytosis. She transitioned from bioanalytical chemistry to chemistry education for her postdoc because of her interest in studying how students learn and using that to support effective instruction. In addition to performing research, Solaire is committed to increasing the scientific understanding of the general public through teaching and outreach. During her free time, Solaire enjoys reading and running, and rearranging her plants.

What mythological creature are you? Unicorn



Blair Winograd

Blair is a Michigan Data Science Fellow here at the Michigan Institute for Data Science(MIDAS). Her research involves using natural language processing and other data science tools to build a digital toolkit supporting the application of writing-to-learn pedagogies at scale. As a graduate student at UM, Blair’s research was in the field of theoretical chemistry and involved using high-performance computing to develop novel electronic structure methods. In addition to performing research, Blair is committed to increasing youth’s technological and chemical understanding through hands-on activities and interactive coding workshops.



Amber Dood

Amber is working on the MWrite project here at the University of Michigan, focusing on applying machine learning techniques to text analysis as well as looking at student writing in organic chemistry. She earned her PhD in 2020 at the University of South Florida, where her project involved analyzing students’ written explanations of organic chemistry reaction mechanisms. Amber is also committed to fostering the success of underrepresented groups in the sciences and was a founding member and VP of the USF SACNAS chapter.

What mythological creature are you? Elf




Megan Connor

Megan is a graduate student in the Chemistry PhD program. Before attending the University of Michigan, she earned her B.S. in Chemistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her current research aims to characterize problem-solving behaviors demonstrated by experts and novices in the interpretation of NMR spectra using eye-tracking technology, as well as to investigate how classroom instruction promotes students’ ability to interpret NMR spectra in relevant and authentic contexts.

What mythological creature are you? Elf



Eleni Zotos

Eleni graduated from the University of Michigan in May 2017 with her B.S. in Chemical Science and certification in secondary education. Eleni is a PhD candidate in the chemistry program, and her current research focuses on investigating the teacher knowledge and experiences of graduate student instructors in chemistry.

What mythological creature are you? Mermaid



Jeff Spencer 

Jeff taught high school chemistry in Aurora, CO for 6 years before deciding to study at the University of Michigan for a PhD in Chemistry.  He earned his Masters and Bachelors of Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and studied Chemical Biology and Education.  He is currently working on two projects: establishing and studying partnerships with high school teachers to inform teaching practices at the university level and implementing design-based implementation research methodology to collaborate around curriculum design with indigenous populations.

What mythological creature are you? Dragon



Field Watts

Field is a PhD candidate and a graduate from Oklahoma State University with B.S. degrees in chemistry and mathematics. He is working on projects centered around students’ reasoning in organic chemistry, using qualitative and quantitative methods to analyze student responses to writing-to-learn assignments. He joined the Shultz research group because the research projects allow him to combine his interests across disciplines to make sense of students’ learning and to effect positive change in instruction. Outside of research, Field is also a graduate student instructional consultant at the University of Michigan’s Center for Research on Learning and Teaching. When not working, he enjoys running, reading, and ruffling his cat, Budders.

What mythological creature are you? Dragon



Ina Zaimi 

Ina (she/her/hers) graduated from the University of Michigan with her BS degrees in Biomolecular Science and English as well as her secondary education certifications in Chemistry and English. Humanizing chemistry incited Ina’s transition from teaching English to teaching chemistry centered around identity. Ina believes chemistry courses should affirm students’ languages, cultures, and identities as much as literature courses do. Ina is a part of our MWrite Crew, researching the reading, writing, and mechanistic reasoning of organic chemistry. When not researching, Ina enjoys reading, baking, and rescuing plants from the clearance aisle.

What mythological creature are you? Dragon



Danielle Maxwell 

Danielle graduated from the University of Detroit Mercy in May 2019 with her B.S. in Chemistry and a minor in Leadership. She is an analytical chemistry and chemistry education graduate student in the Chemistry Ph.D. program. She currently has three research projects: 1) understanding how undergraduate students utilize resources while participating in POGIL activities, 2) investigating what factors contribute to students’ science identities, and 3) using design-based implementation research practices to develop coursework with Indigenous populations. Danielle’s background in organizing science outreach and social justice initiatives inspired her to pursue educational research that amplifies the voices of underrepresented minority students. Outside of research, she enjoys reading, drinking bubble tea, watching The Good Place, and spending time with her cats, Minerva and Luna. If Danielle was not pursuing a Chemistry Ph.D., she would be a professional event planner!

What mythological creature are you? Elf



Nicholas Garza

Nick earned his B.S. in Chemistry and B.A. in Spanish Language and Literature from Oakland University. His research focuses on relevance and representations in biochemistry education. Initially a pre-med student, Nick realized that he enjoyed his chemistry classes the most. He began to pursue CER as he wanted to make introductory chemistry courses more relevant and beneficial for other pre-health students. Outside of lab, Nick enjoys cooking, traveling, walking his dog, and riding his bike.



Rebecca Fantone

Rebecca (she/her/hers) graduated from Clemson University in May 2019 with her B.S. in Chemistry. Rebecca became interested in chemistry education when she found often times students and non-students alike would lament about how much they disliked their chemistry courses. As a queer woman, Rebecca is passionate about LGBTQ+ recruitment and retention in STEM fields, as seen by her background as an executive board member of oSTEM at Clemson University. Rebecca currently has two research projects: 1) understanding how instructors develop as teachers through the evolution of their artifacts and 2) characterizing post-secondary instructors’ pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) in NMR spectroscopy. Outside of research Rebecca likes to cook, get bubble tea with her friends, go on long walks around Ann Arbor and annoy her cat Obi.

What mythological creature are you? A mermaid!




Michael Petterson

Michael is a sophomore from Adrian, MI studying Chemistry with a minor in French. When Michael is not trying to get into medical school, he enjoys fishing, hunting, or anything that takes him outside. He is conducting research under Solaire, and together they look at student mechanistic reasoning in acid/base and addition reactions using the Mechanisms app.

What mythological creature are you? Centaur




Jordan Tyo

Jordan is a junior studying earth and environmental science with minors in chemistry and education. She is from Irvine, California, has three dogs, and plans to be a teacher in the future. She is working with Eleni on investigating chemistry graduate students’ knowledge for teaching.












Dr. Raymond Pugh, Time: 2/16-2/17, Current: Professor at University of Wisconsin-Platteville

Dr. Alena Moon, Time: 5/16-6/18, Current: Professor at University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Dr. Jordan Boothe, Time 5/17-8/18, Current: Visiting Instructor at University of Pittsburgh, Greensburg

Dr. Jennifer Schmidt-McCormack, Time 5/16-6/19, Current: Assistant Professor at St. Ambrose University, Iowa


Josh Kenney, Time: 9/17-6/18, Current: Secondary Science Teacher


Benjamin Glass

Grace Park

Trisha Gupte

Emma Snyder-White

Ellen Yang

Kellie Spahr

Sabrina Archer

Sarah Wiest

Andrew Relinger

Giselle Roca

Sean Lang

John Griffin

Jessyca Judge

Khadijah Hussain

Noelle Polakowski

Simon Joshua

Callie Bartkowlak

Robert Moeller

Audrey Halim

Linda Camaj

Carmen Chen

Genevieve Brown

Ronald Inglehart

Seth Klapman

Kathryn Marchetti

Raymond Strobel

Ali Van Belkum