Chemistry Department

Departmental News & Recognitions

Dr. Bill Collins is the department’s most recent hire from a research position at MIT.   In December, 2011, he was awarded $282,000 over 3 years by the Department of Defense's research and educational program for HBCU/MI (Historically Black Colleges and Universities / Minority Serving Institutions) , to develop methods for the chemical synthesis of carbon nanohoops and nanotubes.  His research interests include Organic Chemistry, the development of reaction methodology, supramolecular organic chemistry, materials science, polymer nanoscience, graphitic materials, organic photovoltaic devices

Dr. Ron Estler has published approximately 60 peer-reviewed research articles in his FLC career with approximately $1M of extramural funding.  His current research involves creating and characterizing nano-structures in silicon for a variety of unique physical and analytical purposes.  In 2009, Dr. Estler was named Colorado Professor of the Year.

Dr. Kenny Miller was awarded a $45,000 grant from the Research Corporation for the Advancement of Science to support his research program. He will be using the funds to prepare anti-viral compounds which have the potential to treat shingles, chicken pox, and other viral diseases.

Since 1994, Dr. Rob Milofsky has produced 15 publications and patents with funding from Research Corporation, American Chemical Society, Dreyfus Foundation and National Science Foundation.  His current research interests are:  Analytical Chemistry, laser induced fluorescence detection in capillary electrophoresis, bioanalytical chemistry, chemiluminescence, photochemical reaction detection, liquid chromatography, and atmospheric photo chemistry; synthesis and characterization of high molecular weight primary alcohols, and high temperature SimDis GC method development

Since 1991, Dr. Les Sommerville has been a PI (Principal Investigator) or Co-PI on external grants for instrumentation, building, and research totaling $4,197,250.  The most recent funding was received in 2010 from National Institutes of Health to train under-represented students in biomedical and behavioral research.  His current research interests are genome-directed studies of metabolism and enzymology in a common soil organism, Acidobacterium capsulatum.

Departmental Points of Pride

  • All tenured and tenure-track faculty have Ph.D.s from top US institutions.
  • Faculty recognized as outstanding teachers and mentors of undergraduate research.
  • In national studies, the department ranks in the top 15% of all BS/MS granting institutions having Chemistry majors who continued on to graduate school and were awarded PhDs.
  • The Chemistry Program is and has been accredited by the American Chemical Society since 1980.
  • Named as one of Colorado’s Programs of Excellence by the Colorado Commission on Higher Education.

Faculty Recognitions

  • Fort Lewis College Roger Peters Distinguished Professor Award (2012)
  • National attention for work at national laboratories (2011, 2003, 1980's)
  • National Institues of Health - Minority Access to Research Careers Director (2010-2015)
  • Colorado Professor of the Year  (2009, 1991)
  • Member of the American Chemical Society accreditation panel, the Committee on Professional Training
  • Fort Lewis College Featured Scholar (2007, 2001, 2000)
  • Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar (1999, 1994)
  • Fort Lewis College Alice Admire Outstanding Teacher Award (1997)
  • National Science Foundation Special Creativity Award (1998)