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Jacqueline L. Hilsenbeck-Fajardo is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry at the University of Delaware. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry from Washington State University and a Doctor of Philosophy in Chemical Education from the University of Northern Colorado. Her primary teaching responsibilities include the General Chemistry series for science majors, specifically CHEM103 & 104. Integrated versions of these sections feature students majoring in an area of emphasis within the life, biological, and biomedical sciences. Hence integration of core curricular content facilitates application and utility of our discipline within a broader contextual framework. Life is naturally interdisciplinary! Here at UD, I strive to foster learning environments that are dynamic, fluid, open, and engaging. Together with a phenomenal team of preceptors, graduate teaching assistants, undergraduate workshop leaders, laboratory coordinators, administrative staff, technology specialists, and interdisciplinary faculty, our students are encouraged to explore, analyze, compute, model, and question the science in the world around them. Our learning environment is enhanced with unique architectural features available to us within the Harker Interdisciplinary Sciences and Engineering Labs and includes writable walls, mobile chairs, and adjoining lab spaces.
In 1996, Dr. Fajardo was awarded an undergraduate research fellowship from the Department of Energy leading to her first authentic undergraduate research experience in the Advanced Organic and Analytical Methods Group at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA. The experience afforded her an unprecedented opportunity to gain awareness of scientific thought in addition to technical skills in analytical instrumentation. Upon earning her B.Sc. degree in 1999, Dr. Fajardo pursued her research passion in protein structure, function, and activity at Washington State University. A notable outcome of these studies was her solved x-ray crystal structure of an E. coli cytotoxin, Colicin B. The process of solving this structure had a marked influence on Dr. Fajardo and shaped her career trajectory. She grew a profound appreciation for the critical importance of molecular visualization and spatial visual literacy on the development of higher order understanding of dynamic chemical phenomena at that sub-microscopic level. Her research interests subsequently shifted towards chemical education where she could further share her passion for chemical structure and function relationships with students just beginning their journey into science.
Upon completion of her Ph.D. in 2009, Dr. Fajardo began teaching courses in general chemistry, scientific writing, and principles of scientific inquiry. She also collaborated with high school teachers on implementation of active-learning pedagogies within their own classrooms. Since July 2013 she has been an Assistant Professor within the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry at UD. Within this capacity, she teaches honors-level integrated general chemistry and has taught a problem-based learning biochemistry. She currently serves on the national American Chemical Society Examinations Committee and is deeply involved in assessment efforts within her own Department and ISEL.
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