Chemistry and Biochemistry Department - Our Faculty & Staff

Chemistry Department Faculty & Staff

Callie A. Cole, Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Phone: 970-247-6446
Office: Chemistry Hall 148

B.S., 2010, University of Montana,
Ph.D., 2015, University of Colorado at Boulder

Professional Interests
Analytical Chemistry, astrochemistry, mass spectrometry, chemical education

William R. Collins, Assistant Professor of ChemistryWilliam R. Collins, Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Phone: 970-247-7133
Office: Chemistry Hall 142

B.S., 2003, New Mexico Institute of Technology, Socorro
Ph.D., 2009, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Postdoctoral Fellow, 2009-2011, MIT, Cambridge

Professional Interests
Organic Chemistry, the development of reaction methodology, supramolecular organic chemistry, natural product isolation, the total synthesis of biologically active natural products, chemical ecology

James Dickson, Visiting Instructor

Phone: 970-247-7071
Office: Chemistry Hall 238

B.S., 1979, College of Wooster, Ohio
Teaching Certificate, 1990, Fort Lewis College
Master's of Education, 1992, Adams State
Master's of Science, 1998, Mississippi State

Professional Interests
Analytical Chemistry, luminescence, chemistry education

Ron C. Estler, Professor of ChemistryRon C. Estler, Professor of Chemistry

Phone: 970-247-7238
Office: Chemistry Hall 240
Instructional Website:
Research Website:

B.A., 1972, Drew University, New Jersey
Ph.D. (Chemical Physics), 1976, Johns Hopkins University, Maryland
Postdoctoral Fellow, 1976-1978, Columbia and Stanford University
Faculty, 1978-1982, University of Southern California

Professional Interests
Physical Chemistry, kinetics, reaction dynamics, and laser photochemistry, with interest in the use of lasers in Resonance Ionization Mass Spectrometry (RIMS) and the application of the technique to environmental and biochemical problems.

Nicholas C. Gearhart, Laboratory DirectorNick Gearhart, Laboratory Director

Phone: 970-247-7638
Office: Chemistry Hall 242

B.S., 2004, Fort Lewis College, Colorado
M.S., 2008, Colorado State University

Professional Experience 
Eisai Inc. 2008-2011 
H3 Biomedicine 2011-2012

Professional Interests
Medicinal chemistry, organic chemistry: utiliizing new cancer pathways and natural products in oncology based drug discovery.

Kenneth A. Miller, Associate Professor of ChemistryKenneth A. Miller, Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Phone: 970-247-7623
Office: Chemistry Hall 144

B.S., 2002, University of Georgia, Athens
Ph.D., 2007, University of Texas, Austin
Postdoctoral Fellow, 2007-2009, Colorado State University, Fort Collins

Professional Interests
Organic Chemistry, Green Chemistry, sustainable chemistry, total synthesis of biologically active natural products, development of new green methods for heterocycle formation, C-H activation using metallocarbenes.

Robert E. Milofsky, Professor of ChemistryRobert E. Milofsky, Professor of Chemistry

Phone: 970-247-7467
Office: Chemistry Hall 246
Research Website:

B.S., 1987, Bates College, Maine
Ph.D., 1991, University of Colorado, Boulder
Postdoctoral Fellow,1991-1992, Ames Laboratory, Iowa State University

Professional Interests
Analytical Chemistry, laser induced fluorescence detection in capillary electrophoresis, bioanalytical chemistry, chemiluminescence, photochemical reaction detection, liquid chromatography, and atmospheric photo chemistry.

Aimee M. Morris, Visiting Instructor of ChemistryAimee M. Morris, Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Phone: 970-247-7635
Office: Chemistry Hall 146

B.S., 2004, Western Washington University
Ph.D., 2009, Colorado State University
Neuro-postdoctoral fellow, 2009-2010, Brandeis University
Adjunct Faculty, 2010-2011, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
Faculty Associate, 2011-2012, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

Professional Interests
Inorganic Chemistry, Bio-inorganic Chemistry, synthesis and characterization of new coordination complexes relevant to the treatment of various diseases.

Whitney Blakstad, Administrative Assistant and Instructor

Phone: 970-247-7033
Office: Chemistry Hall 140


Professional Interests

Kathryn D. Mouzakis, Assistant Professor of ChemistryKathryn D. Mouzakis, Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Phone: 970-247-6324
Office: Chemistry Hall 244

B.S., 2007, Harvey Mudd College, Claremont, CA
Ph.D., 2013, University of Wisconsin - Madison
Postdoctoral Fellow, 2013, University of Wisconsin -

Professional Interests 
Biochemistry: RNA structure, function, and disease; translational regulation of gene expression; and viral replication and latency.

Leslie E. Sommerville, Professor of ChemistryLeslie E. Sommerville, Professor of Chemistry

Department Chair, Program Director for the MARC U*STAR Program

Phone: 970-247-7370
Office: Chemistry Hall 250

B.S., 1980, Fort Lewis College, Colorado
Ph.D., 1985, University of Minnesota
NIH Postdoctoral Fellow, 1986-1988, University of Arizona
Faculty, 1988-1989, Bates College, Maine
Faculty, 1989-1991, St. Lawrence University, New York

Professional Interests
Biochemistry, metabolism and enzymology associated with dissimilatory Fe(III) reducing bacteria, enzymology of bacteria from the Acidobacteria division, and bioremediation.


Friends of the Department

William R. Bartlett, Emeritus Professor of Chemistry

Dr. Bartlett retired in the summer of 2010.

Merle E. Harrison, Emeritus Professor of Chemistry

Dr. Harrison retired in 1988.

William C. Langworthy, Emeritus Professor of Chemistry

Dr. Langworthy retired in 1999 and has moved to Mount Vernon, Washington

 James W. Mills, Emeritus Professor of Chemistry

Dr. Mills retired in 2002.

John M. Ritchey, Emeritus Professor of Chemistry

Dr. Ritchey retired in May 1996.

Rosanna Babcock, Former Academic Assistant

Ro retired in December 2012.  She lives in Durango when she's not RVing around North America, drinking in all the beauties of nature and enjoying life.

Carl Stransky, Former Laboratory Coordinator

Carl retired in June 2004, is living in Durango and pursuing his career as an accomplished metal sculptor.

In Memoriam

Doreen M. Mehs, Emeritus Professor of Chemistry

Dr. Mehs passed away on May 16, 2009, from vascular dementia.

Irwin L. (Ike) Klundt, Adjunct Professor of Chemistry

Dr. Klundt passed away on October 31, 2009, after a 3 year battle with cancer.

Rodney D. Hamilton, Emeritus Professor of Chemistry 

Dr. Hamilton passed away on April 29, 2012, after a 4 year battle with cancer.