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Dr. Evonne Baldauff

Chairperson for the Chemistry and Forensic Science Department, Professor of Chemistry and Assistant Provost for Online/Distance Learning and Curriculum Development

Dr. Baldauff’s research interests range from developing novel inorganic materials to characterizing roasted and brewed coffee to studying learning outcomes in the general chemistry laboratory. 

She has served as advisor to the WU American Chemical Society (ACS) Student Chapter since 2007. Dr. Baldauff is also active in the ACS Pittsburgh Local Section, where she served as Chair in 2015.

Dr. Baldauff holds a B.S. in Chemistry from Grove City College and a Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from Purdue University.

Please describe your program and your vision for it.

The goal of our program is to provide a vibrant, personalized and quality science education. Through a combination of traditional classroom experiences, research and outreach, we hope to develop students into scientists capable of independent learning and creative thinking. Our graduates consistently report that the time they spent with us has prepared them well. My vision is for our program to be readily recognized in the region as a top school to study science. 

What are some of your former students up to now? 

We have former students all over the country working in analytical, pharmaceutical, research, development and government labs. Recent examples of graduate schools our students are attending include the University of South Carolina, West Virginia University, Cornell University, Bryn Mawr, Penn State, Arizona State University, and many others. Just this past summer, Tiffany (Onifer ‘14) Crescentini graduated with her Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University and has begun working with Nike as a Sr. Analytical Scientist for Air Manufacturing and Innovation! 

If I were a student considering this major, what are some career paths I would be able to pursue?

Scientists are problem-solvers and innovators. A lot of the work that we do often occurs behind the scenes of the technology and products you use every day. We play a huge role in medicine and drug development, nutrition, energy usage and the environment. Scientific careers might involve testing molecules for medical applications, formulating unique materials for advanced electronics, optimizing recycling processes, creating new types of “smart” plastics, monitoring environmental impact, testing the quality of food and water, and many, many more! 

What do you think is a true differentiator for WU or your program?

The faculty in our department are 100% devoted to student success. We develop novel teaching strategies to help our students master and retain the skills that will allow them to become effective scientists. Students receive one-on-one instruction in teaching and research labs. In general, we are very intentional about helping every student find the pathway to which they are best suited. 

Has this program received any awards? 

Our American Chemical Society Student Chapter has won the “Outstanding Chapter” award eleven times in the past thirteen years. This ranking places them annually as one of the top 50 chapters in the country in terms of activities like outreach and professional development. In the 2016-17 academic year, our chapter was recognized as 3rd in the nation for most activities in a year (104)!

How do you prioritize personal wellness, any tips for students and working professionals? 

I’m a huge proponent of strength training! It contributes so much to your overall health and can easily be done at home. And you’ll always be prepared for an impromptu push-up contest. I also think it is a good goal to eliminate as many processed foods as possible from your diet (with one important exception: chocolate covered pretzels). 

What is the most interesting place that you have visited and why?

The United Kingdom has captivated me as long as I can remember. London and Edinburg are cities that I just want to wander about continuously. I stumbled upon the Silent Valley in Northern Ireland last summer, which turned out to be an unexpected gem. I often dream about moving to the Peak District in England. Imagine tall, tree-less hills that meet the sky, covered with vibrant green ground cover, bright purple heather, and angry grazing sheep. What could be better?

Learn more

Our Department of Chemistry & Forensic Science has a suite of instruments that allows us to offer premier and exceptionally modern laboratory experiences both in teaching and research lab settings. Students work directly on the instruments; they learn operation procedures, troubleshooting, method development, and interpretation of results. The types of testing and analyses enabled by this instrumentation helps faculty and students to be innovative at the very frontiers of science.