Faculty & Staff
The Department of Chemistry faculty and staff are listed below. Click on a name to go to the individual's profile page which includes more details.
Chemistry Faculty by Teaching/Research Area:
Graduate Students / Teaching Assistants
ERIC AGYEI (Master's Student)
I am from the Eastern Region of Ghana, and I began my graduate studies at TN Tech in the spring of 2022. I obtained my bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana.
I am a member of the Carrick group, and my research work focuses on the synthesis of functionalized unsymmetric bis-1,2,4-triazinyl pyridine (BTP) complexant scaffolds as soft-donors for minor actinide separations.
BOLADE AJIBOLA (Master's Student)
I am from Osun state, Nigeria. I earned my bachelor's degree in industrial chemistry from Obafemi Awolowo University.
I am a member of the Carrick Research Group with research focused on the synthesis of novel complexants for minor actinide separations.
I enjoy baking and fiction writing during my spare time.
CLEMENT ARUADA (Master's Student)
I am from Nigeria. I earned my bachelor's degree in industrial chemistry from the Federal University of Petroleum Resources Effurun Delta State, Nigeria.
As a graduate student here at Tennessee Technological University, my research is primarily focused on method development and optimization for the determination, and quantification of per fluorinated alkylated substances (PFAS) in post-treatment water, surface water, soil, and packaging materials for consumer goods by solid phase microextraction (SPE), dispersive liquid-liquid microextraction (DLLME), and gas chromatography triple quadrupole mass spectrometer (QqQ-GC-MS)''.
SEKYERE BOATENG (Master's Student)
Education: Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry, 2018.
I am from Ghana and graduated with a degree in biochemistry focusing on clinical biochemistry. Currently, I am a member of the Zhan lab as a graduate student in chemistry studying protein - protein interactions.
TIMOTHY BRYANT (Master's Student)
Timothy Bryant is from Springfield, Tennessee. He got his BS in Biochemistry/Molecular Biology at Hampden-Sydney College. His areas of interest are drug design, instrumental analysis and instrumentation. His hobbies are reading, table-top RPGs, Dungeons & Dragons, movies and travel.
FORTUNE DZEAGU (Master's Student)
Fortune Otuko Dzeagu hails from Ada in the Greater Accra Region of Ghana, a place known for its salt mining activities. She holds a BSc. in Chemistry from the University of Ghana, Legon where her undergraduate thesis centered on “Evaluation of the Nutrient Content in Vegetables grown in the Accra Metropolis, Ghana. She served as a Teaching Assistant after her undergraduate studies in the same institution. Fortune also has experience as a formulation chemist. Currently, she is pursuing her master’s degree and works under Dr. Jesse Carrick. Her research is focused on synthesis of novel 2-(6-(5,6-(diphenyl)-1,2,4-triazin-3-yl) pyridin-2-yl)-5-(diversified) benzo-1,3,4-oxadiazole (MTP-1,3,4-oxadiazole) scaffolds as part of developing soft Lewis-basic tridentate ligands for minor Actinide separation.
ORUME EDIRIN (Master's Student)
I am from Delta State, Nigeria. I earned my bachelor's degree in Pure and applied chemistry from the Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun, Delta state, Nigeria. I currently work in Dr. Carrick's group and my research is focused on the Intermolecular Interaction of 1,2,3 Triazoles as a Soft-Lewis Basic Complexants via Cycloaddition of 1,8-diazabicyclo[5,4,0]undec-7-ene with N-tosylhydrazones.
MEAGAN EDMONDS (Master's Student)
I am Meagan Edmonds, a first year Master’s student. My hometown is Rockwood, Tennessee. I got my Associate’s in Chemistry at Roane State Community College and then finished my Bachelor’s (ACS Certified) here at Tech in Spring 2021. My current research is in computational drug design. In my spare time, I like to read, write, and watch movies.
FELICIA GILLILAND (Master's Student)
Felicia J. Gilliland is from Oak Ridge, TN. She received her Bachelor of Science degree with a Concentration in Biochemistry, Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. In Felicia’s spare time, she enjoys spending time with family in Tampa, FL, gardening, fitness, hair & makeup and playing with her cats - Henry, Daisy, Pesto, and Ellie. Her career aspirations include becoming a medical physician.
EMILY HUNTLEY (Master's Student)
I am a 2nd year MS student from Livingston, TN and I completed my undergraduate degree at Tennessee Tech University in Biochemistry and Cellular and Molecular Biology. My area of research is in renewable energy and biofuels and I work with Dr. Jeffrey Boles.
OLUWASOLA IFEDAYO (Master's Student)
I am popularly called "SUREBOY", I was born and brought up in Lagos, Nigeria. I received my Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech) Degree certificate in Industrial Chemistry from Federal University Of Technology, Akure, Ondo State, Nigeria. I have over 9 years working experience in Oil and Gas industry.
I am currently a member of Dr Andrew Callender's lab as a master's student. My current research focus is on "Detection of polycyclic musk compounds in indoor dust by In-Tube Extraction (ITEX) HS-GC-MS".
VICTOR JONATHAN (Master's Student)
I am Victor Jonathan, from IMO state, Nigeria. I earned a B.S degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria.
I am a first year Master student at Tenn tech, a member of the Carrick group where I work on building organic scaffolds and synthesize natural products using advanced organic synthetic methods.
In my spare time, I enjoy reading interesting articles outside science, I also love traveling, sightseeing, and coding.
ELISE KILGORE (Master's Student)
I’m a Masters student from Alcoa, TN. I started at Tennessee Tech in the fall of 2014 and graduated in the spring of 2019 with a B.S. in chemistry and a B.A. in foreign language (German). My current research project focuses on the use of electrochemical techniques to measure diffusion in ionic liquid solvents. My research is overseen by Dr. Jonathan Moldenhauer and Dr. Andrew Callender as co-advisors.
KYLE LYONS (Master's Student)
Hello! I am a 2nd year MS student under Dr. Jiang researching the mechanism of inhibition of topoisomerase II α via thiosemicarbazone-metal complexes. I earned a BS in chemistry at Tennessee Technological University May of 2019. After defending my MS thesis, I hope to matriculate into a MD/PhD dual-degree program to continue a research-oriented career.
I currently live in Knoxville since 2019 but grew up in Cookeville. Cooking and poking fun at my cats occupies some of my free time. I also volunteer with Remote Area Medical as a Patient Registration Supervisor at clinics within and outside of Tennessee. In 2015 I earned Eagle Scout and in 2016 I backpacked at Philmont in New Mexico for 10 days.
HALEY MAYSE (PhD Student)
My name is Haley Mayse and I am from Morristown, TN. I received my bachelor's in chemistry from Lincoln Memorial University in 2019. I moved to Cookeville with my husband and dogs shortly after. I am studying the degradation of amphetamine-type stimulants when exposed to UV light in wastewater treatment plants.
NADIA MIREKU (Master's Student)
I am from Ghana and graduated with a degree in Biochemistry from the University of Cape Coast, Ghana. I am a first year Master's student and a member of the Zhan lab. My research is primarily focused on the dynamic movement of proteins in cell signaling; protein-protein interactions.
SAMIAT OLAYIWOLA (Master's Student)
I am a Msc. graduate student from Lagos, Nigeria. I completed my undergraduate degree at Olabisi Onabanjo University in Chemistry. My area of research is in Organic Synthesis and I work with Dr. Jesse Carrick.
ROBERT (ROB) OLIVER (Master's Student)
I am originally from Mackay, Queensland, Australia. I graduated from my BSc at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane majoring in Chemistry/Industrial Chemistry in 2009. I completed a Graduate Diploma in Extractive Metallurgy at the Western Australian School of Mines in 2013. I worked at Glencore’s McArthur River Lead-Zinc Project from 2009 to 2012, where I was introduced to selective, sequential froth flotation, selective oxidative leaching, and geochemical analysis of base metal sulfides. I was also the site radiation safety officer. From 2012 to 2021 I was a manager for Intertek PLC’s Indonesian minerals operations where I furthered my understanding of geochemical analysis, in particular speciation of sulfide minerals. While working at Intertek I collaborated with Dr Dominique François-Bongarçon on research into particle size analysis and minerals sampling theory. At Tech, my area of interest is chromatographic separation of actinides and lanthanides, and intraseries separation of lanthanides with Dr Dale Ensor.
CHIOMA ONWUCHEKWA (PhD Student)
My name is Chioma Onwuchekwa, a doctoral candidate of Environmental Science-Chemistry. I am a Nigerian from Imo State (South -East Nigeria) and I lived most of my life in Lagos, South-Western Nigeria. I have a Bachelor’s in Industrial Chemistry from Covenant University (2011) in Nigeria and a master’s degree in energy and environmental management from Glasgow Caledonian University (2014), Scotland, United Kingdom.
My doctoral research aims to better understand how and/or if the wastewater treatment plant contributes to the occurrence of microplastics and the role of microplastics as possible vectors for pollution (focus on psychostimulants) in the environment, with Dr. Tammy Boles as my research advisor.
JACOB THORN (Master's Student)
Jacob Thorn is a second-year graduate student studying chemistry, with an organic concentration at Tennessee Technological University. He also received a B.S. in biochemistry from TN Tech, and is currently researching ionic liquids under the tutelage of Dr. Callender and Dr. Cojocaru.
MEGAN WHARTON (Master's Student)
Hello everyone! My name is Megan Wharton, and I am a current M.S. candidate working under Dr. Xuanzhi Zhan. I received a B.S. in Chemistry, Biochemistry (ACS Certified) and a B.S. in Biology, Cellular & Molecular Biology from Tennessee Tech University in the summer of 2020. My current research involves studying the isoform selectivity and mechanism of action of a peptide inhibitor for the protein JNK3. My major career goal after earning my M.S. involves earning a Ph.D. and/or M.D./Ph.D. to pursue medical research. I am a Cookeville native and spend my time involved in my local community, including serving as President of the Graduate Chemistry Club (GCC) and serving as a Senator for the College of Graduate Studies for the Tennessee Tech Student Government Association (SGA). I like to explore new places to eat, play various board and video games, and sleep my worries away in my free time.