Dr. Marcy H. Towns

Professor, Chemical Education
Purdue University


  • B.A. in Chemistry, Linfield College (1985)
  • M.S. in Chemical Education, Purdue University (1990)
  • Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry, Purdue University (1994)


  • Linfield College Distinguished Alumna, 2015
  • Outstanding Undergraduate Science Teacher Award, Society of College Science Teachers and the National Science Teachers Assoc., 2015
  • Murphy Award, 2013
  • Kelly Award, 2013
  • Fellow of the American Chemical Society, 2012
  • Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), 2010
  • Purdue University Teaching Academy Fellow, 2009
  • Purdue University Learning Community Ambassadors Advocate Award, 2006


Current Group Members

Brittland DekorverTucker McCord

Email: mccordt@purdue.edu
Hometown: Logansport, IN
Education: B.S. in Chemistry Education from Purdue University (2017)
Research interests: Helping with Sarah Hensiek's and Kinsey Bain's research, and in general, educational methods that can be used to reach students who struggle with science and mathematics.




Brittland DekorverBrittland Dekorver

Email: bdekorve@purdue.edu
Hometown: Greenville, MI
Education: B.A. in Chemistry from Grand Valley State University (2007)
Research interests: students' goals for laboratory experiments and informal science education.




hensiekSarah Hensiek

Email: shensiek@purdue.edu
Education: B.A. in Chemistry from Wesleyan Univ. (2013), M.A. in Chemistry from Wesleyan University (2014).
Research interests: Digital badging to improve student hands-on laboratory skills.




Alena Moon

Email: moon36@purdue.edu
Hometown: Newport News, VA
Education: B.S. in Chemistry, John Brown University (2011)
Research Interests: Discourse analysis in physical chemistry classrooms, research methodologies including inter-rater reliability, flipped classrooms




Kinsey PearsonKinsey Bain

Email: pearsonk@purdue.edu
Hometown: Sauk Centre, MN
Education: B.S. in Chemistry, Bethel University (2012)
Research Interests: Physical chemistry education, especially relating to students' mathematical understanding.




zabih Adam Zabih

Email: azabih@purdue.edu
Hometown: Brandon, SD
Education: B.S. in Biochemistry, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Research Interests: Chemical Education





Previous Group Members


Michael MackHayden Hamby

Senior at Purdue University, 2016
Heading to medical school in Alabama, Fall of 2016.





Michael MackMichael Mack

Ph.D. in Science Education, 2014
Pursuing chemistry education research opportunities in New Zealand.





Taylor Owings

M.S. in Chemistry Education, 2014
Taylor is currently a high school science teacher at North Montgomery High School.





Ashley Versprille

Ph.D. in Science Education, 2014
Ashley is currently working as an Academic Advisor/Instructor at Purdue University.





Daniel Cruz-Ramirez de Arellano

Ph.D. in Chemistry Education, 2013
Dissertation: Students' understanding of alkyl halide reactions in undergraduate organic chemistry
Daniel is currently working as an instructor at the University of South Florida.




Adam Kraft

M.S. in Chemistry Education, 2012





Nicole Becker

Ph.D in Chemistry Education, 2012
Dissertation: Social aspects of classroom learning: Results of a discourse analysis in an inquiry-oriented physical chemistry class
Nicole is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Iowa.




Marissa Harle

Ph.D in Chemistry Education, 2012
Dissertation: Students' understanding of external representations of the potassium channel protein
Marissa is now the Laboratory Coordinator at St. Cloud State University!




Jeff Raker

Ph.D in Chemistry Education, 2011
Dissertation: Connecting scientific research and classroom instruction: Developing authentic problem sets for the undergraduate organic chemistry curriculum
Jeff is currently an Assistant Professor of Arts & Sciences, Chemistry, at the University of South Florida.




Aaron Bruck

Ph.D in Chemistry Education, 2011
Dissertation: Faculty perspectives of the undergraduate laboratory: A survey of faculty goals for the laboratory and comparative analysis of responses using statistical techniques
Aaron is currently an assistant professor of chemistry at Vincennes University in Vincennes, IN.




Laura Bruck

M.S. in Chemistry Education, 2009
Thesis: Faculty perspectives of the undergraduate chemistry laboratory: Goals, limitations, and assessments
Laura is currently a professor of chemistry at Wabash Valley College in Mt. Carmel, IL.