Andrea Giordano Ph.D.



Working title: “Ma’am, class reports ready to learn”: Insights into the chemistry curriculum and research opportunities at the United States Air Force Academy

Jan. 20, 2021
Executive Committee Meeting 5:30 pm, Talk 7:00 pm

Dr. Andrea Giordano is an Assistant Professor at the United States Air Force Academy. She completed her PhD/MS at the Pennsylvania State University and her BS/BA at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Dr. Giordano’s research interests include electronic and vibrational spectroscopy as well as chemical education. She is a member of the ACS Exams Physical Chemistry Committee and the ACS Committee on Public Relations and Communication. Dr. Giordano is also apart of the effort to implement a tenure system at USAFA and the officer in charge of the USAFA equestrian team. In her free time, you can find her spending time outdoors, either riding her horse, snowboarding, or hiking.

Abstract: The United States Air Force Academy is a unique institution in higher education, as its mission is to educate and train future military officers.  This presents cadets with many opportunities from flying gliders to working on classified research projects. The chemistry department offers three ACS certified degree tracks, including a required research experience. In many ways, the academics are similar to other civilian institutions and encourages innovative curricula and pedagogies. The physical chemistry curriculum is undergoing a major revision to support the biochemistry majors only taking one semester of physical chemistry. In addition to content reorganization, the curriculum integrates skills through relevant primary literature, oral examinations, and mindfulness practices to prepare the cadets for their future as chemists and as Air Force officers. Our department offers a plethora of research opportunities, from traditional benchtop research to Air Force applications and classified research, allowing cadets to find a project that aligns with their interests. Many cadets elect to continue their research projects and similar to other civilian institutions, our cadets deliver conference presentations and author publications to disseminate their work. While the US Air Force Academy’s mission is to educate and train future military officers, the chemistry curriculum and research opportunities are similar to other civilian institutions.

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