Kathleen Jeffery

Visualization in Biochemistry Education (VIBE) Division of Chemical Education Purdue Department of Chemistry

Research Interests: Expert and novice conceptual understanding of thermodynamics and visualization of chemical equilibrium processes, specifically protein folding; visualization design

Email: kjeffery@purdue.edu

Research Advisor: Trevor Anderson

About me:  I have been interested in science education since my school years. I received my B.S. in Biological Sciences for Secondary Education from Michigan State University in 2012. During my undergraduate career, I conducted research on carbonaceous chondrites (a type of meteorite) and olivine with the Department of Geology, and then later worked on several research projects in STEM education. I also worked as a learning assistant in my residential college at Michigan State. I completed a year-long teaching internship as part of my degree, teaching at a high school to earn my teaching certifications in Biology, Chemistry, and Integrated Science.  I also have a TEFL certification and I taught English at a boys' middle school in South Korea. 

About my research: My research is focused on understanding how experts and novices explain why - not just how - biochemical equilibrium processes occur. This includes how such processes are described and represented in textbooks and scientific journals, mainly focusing in the area of biophysics/biophysical chemistry.  I hope to contribute knowledge to the community that leads to improved teaching of the driving forces behind biochemical processes and produce representations to assist students in developing expert-like knowledge in this area. Click to download my project summary here.

Hometown: Troy, Michigan

Degree Objective: PhD in Chemistry, Department of Chemistry