Bio coming soon!
Ken Hoffman joined the Beyond Benign Lead Teacher team in 2020. Prior to teaching chemistry, Ken was a graduate student (M.Sc., Organometallic Chemistry, 1994) and freelance musician. Ken completed his Bachelor of Education (Chemistry and Instrumental Music), at the University of Toronto, in 2013. During his stay in Toronto, Ken began a mentorship in Green Chemistry Education under Prof. Andy Dicks. Throughout his teaching career, Ken has been an active contributor to chemistry education, including numerous conference presentations, among them the Biennial Conference on Chemistry Education, the ChemEd Conference, and the International Conference on Chemistry Education. Ken’s unique chemistry teaching experience spans from Grade 8 to Second-year university. Once a world traveler, he now calls Calgary, Canada, home, with his wife and two children, where he teaches Science and Chemistry.
Laviska, Dr. David
After spending the first decade of his professional life working as an analytical chemist with the U.S. EPA, David returned to graduate school at Rutgers University and earned his Ph.D. in organometallic chemistry and catalysis with Alan S. Goldman. After graduating in 2013, he started his academic career by teaching in full-time visiting positions at several excellent institutions, and then joined Seton Hall University in 2017. In 2022, Dr. Laviska joined the American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute (ACS GCI) as the Portfolio Manager for Green Chemistry & Sustainability in Education.
At Seton Hall, Dr. Laviska was the Associate Director of Communications and Curricular Development for the Green Chemistry, Stewardship, and Sustainability Program. He taught General Chemistry and focused much of his attention on helping first-year students build a solid foundation for their future studies in the STEM disciplines. As a committed advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion, Dr. Laviska has worked to ensure the success of all students, including those from traditionally underrepresented groups in the sciences. As a first-generation college graduate and scientist, he has also been closely affiliated with “Gen-1” at Seton Hall – an initiative designed to encourage and support first-generation students in all disciplines. Dr. Laviska’s research interests include the synthesis, characterization, and utilization of late transition metal complexes for small molecule activation, hetero- and homogeneous catalysis, and new materials with unique optical properties. In addition, in his role as a leader in the Green Chemistry community, he has placed high importance on the concepts of sustainability and environmental stewardship. Accordingly, the principles of green chemistry have been applied across all projects in his laboratory. Several of his enthusiastic undergraduate researchers have worked on developing and piloting green(er) experimental methods for both undergraduate course curricula and applied research.
Ponnusamy, Dr. Ettigounder (Samy)
Ettigounder (Samy) Ponnusamy completed his PhD at the University of Madras (India) in 1982 in Polymer Chemistry and postdoctoral studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago (1983-87). In 1988, he joined Sigma-Aldrich as an R&D Scientist and worked on many high value projects at various capacity. Currently Samy is Global Manager for Green Chemistry at MilliporeSigma (A business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany), leading the Green Chemistry Initiatives.
Samy has over 35+ years of industrial and academic research experience in developing new products, greener process developments, polymer processing and greener manufacturing from laboratory to pilot plant scales utilizing green chemistry principles. Samy and his team developed award winning DOZN system – A Quantitative Green Chemistry Evaluator to calculate the relative greenness of chemical products/processes based on the Twelve Green Chemistry Principles. Recently released DOZN 2.0 tool for customers to use it to improve their overall sustainability. Also, Samy leads the new Greener Chemistry Consultancy Business Developments at MilliporeSigma. Samy is instrumental in expanding DOZN application to both virtual and in-lab curriculum to various academic institutions globally in collaboration with Beyond Benign. Also, Samy helped to launch Beyond Benign Organic Lab with DOZN results.
Samy is one of the Co-chairs for American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute’s (ACS GCI) Chemical Manufacturer Roundtable and, organizes/chairs sessions at the ACS GCI’s GC&E Conferences and, also participated as organizing committee member for many other international Green Chemistry Conferences. Samy is the founder of the Worldwide Green Chemistry Team at Sigma-Aldrich in 2007. Samy has published over 45 scientific papers and awarded 6 US/European Patents. Samy’s work was recognized by The Academy of Science St. Louis (founded in 1856), awarded an outstanding scientist award in 2011 and inducted as a Fellow of the Academy of Science St. Louis. Also, one of the recipients of Merck Technology Award 2020 and Environment + Energy Leader, Project of the year Award 2020 for DOZN.
Zuin Zeidler, Dr. Vania
Prof. Dr. Dr. Vania G. Zuin Zeidler is Full Professor at the Institute for Sustainable Chemistry at Leuphana University (Germany), Visiting Professor at the Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence, University of York (UK), and Professor at the Department of Chemistry at the Federal University of São Carlos (Brazil), where she coordinates the Green Chemistry, Sustainability and Education Research Group (GPQV). She is also Founding Director of the Field & Food Tech Hub (UFSCar), a multi-sector platform that promotes healthy and ethical living through green and sustainable products and processes. Her background is in Analytical Green and Sustainable Chemistry and Green and Sustainable Chemistry Education. Her major interests cover the development of analytical methods that are incipient to determine bioactive high-value organic compounds and renewable materials extracted from agro-industrial residues, as well as food processing systems, polymeric materials and bio-circularity, focusing on separation science. Moreover, her research focuses on developing and disseminating Green Chemistry and Sustainable Chemistry educational materials and courses for Higher Education.
Having vast experience and a strong educational background, Professor Zuin works hard to advance diversity and inclusion in our field, especially in emerging economies and regions under economic and political constraints. For more than 20 years she has been working to build up concepts and apply greener and more sustainable materials and technologies all over the world, leading / co-leading projects supported by agencies such as the Newton Fund, Fapesp, Capes, CNPq, Alexander von Humboldt (AvH) and Robert Bosch Foundations. She has been acting as member of committees and consultant of Brazilian and international institutions, e.g., ISC3, UN, UNESCO, UNIDO, UN Environment, IUPAC, Beyond Benign, GCN, G2C2, Green-Chem, ACS, RSC, Brazilian Chemical Society, being in the last one responsible for the creation of the Green Chemistry Section.
Prof. Zuin Zeidler is author of many impacting and seminal publications (e.g, Science, Nature Reviews Chemistry, Nature Reviews Materials, ACS book series) and has been invited to give several plenary and keynote lectures, e.g., European Parliament; ACS National Meetings; Green and Sustainable Chemistry Conferences; RSC Faraday Discussion; IUPAC World Chemistry Congress and International Conference on Green Chemistry; SBQ Annual Meeting; International Conference on Renewable Resources & Biorefineries; China International Conference on Sustainable Technology & Development; SENAI; EuChemS-DAC Sample Preparation. Her recent distinctions include the 52o and 57o National Literary Jabuti Bronze and Gold Awards (Brazilian Chamber of Book), title of Honorary Visiting Fellow at the University of York, the IUPAC 2014 CHEMRAWN VII Prize for Atmospheric and Green Chemistry, the title of Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC), the ACS-CEI Award for Incorporating Sustainability into Chemistry Education, and Fellow of the Robert Bosch and AvH Foundations.
Oseolorun, Dr. Andrea
Dr. Oseolorun serves as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry and holds degrees in Chemistry and Environmental Toxicology. She currently serves as co-advisor to the Chemistry Club, an organization designed to mentor undergraduate and graduate students with a passion for the chemical sciences. She holds professional memberships with the American Chemical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists & Chemical Engineers, the Sigma Xi Scientific Honor Society, and the Society of Environmental Chemistry and Toxicology. Dr. Oseolorun also coordinates the Green Chemistry Commitment program for the Department of Chemistry and Physics. Her research interests include the development of environmental policies governing hazardous waste management in the Home Healthcare industry, trace metal mixture analysis, and green methods for wastewater remediation with agricultural waste.
Morra, Dr. Barb
Barb Morra is an Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Toronto. Barb’s passion for chemistry and teaching translate into her pedagogical research and curriculum development initiatives which have resulted in a suite of research-based laboratory experiments, activities, and technological tools that help undergraduate students connect chemistry with research and applications. To further these efforts, Barb actively works with undergraduate and graduate students in pedagogical projects. Barb’s interest in green and sustainable principles has led her to transform chemistry education within her department through a variety of initiatives that have been recognized through the Green Chemistry Commitment program. Her role within several international green chemistry programs has allowed her to foster a green chemistry education community that empowers global educators to make meaningful changes in their teaching. Examples include her roles as an assessment consultant for the Green & Sustainable Chemistry Education Module Development Project and curriculum developer for the Toxicology for Chemists Program.
Knutson Lydon, Cassandra
Cassie has been teaching general chemistry and AP chemistry at White Bear Lake High School in Minnesota since 2009. She has coordinated and participated in the MRSEC RET program through the University of Minnesota where she developed and published multiple lab activities for high school chemistry, several pertaining to green chemistry. Cassie instructs an annual green chemistry workshop for Minnesota teachers and has participated in many other workshops and presentations across the US. She is a certified Lead Teacher with Beyond Benign and started her green chemistry journey as an educator in 2015. She is passionate about teaching and learning and incorporating sustainable science into her students’ education and experiences.
Tom McKeag is the former Executive Director and current Senior Advisor of the Berkeley Center for Green Chemistry, and has over 40 years of professional experience in education, project management, planning and design. He is a recognized expert in the field of biologically-inspired design, is the co-editor of Zygote Quarterly magazine and former columnist for the Biomimicry column at Greenbiz.com. He holds masters degrees in community planning (University of Rhode Island) and landscape architecture (University of California at Berkeley). In 2013-2014 he was a Fulbright Nehru senior scholar at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, India.
Scott Carlson grew up in New York City, specifically the South Bronx and Brooklyn. He received his Bachelors of Science in Chemistry and Education at Saint Joseph’s College and went on to earn his Masters in Teaching Chemistry from the Steinhardt school of Teaching and Learning at NYU. Since 2006, Scott has taught at Benjamin Banneker Academy, The Green School for Environmental Careers, and the Academy for Conservation and the Environment. Currently, he is the Lead science teacher at W. H. Maxwell High School for Career and Technical Education, where he is responsible for professional development for the staff and teaches Regents Chemistry, Forensics, and A.P. Environmental Science. He is also a Lead Chemistry Teacher and Mentor for NYC Chemistry Teachers. He is also a Lecturer in General Chemistry and General Chemistry Laboratory at NY City Technical College. He is also a SciEd Innovators Fellow from the Jhumki Basu Foundation and is certified in School Building and School District Leadership in New York State. He has been a Lead Teacher in Beyond Benign since March of 2018 and has been using Green Chemistry Laboratories in his classroom since attending the Train-the-trainer in 2015. And is excited to join the Green Chemistry Teaching and learning Community (GCTLC) as Co-Committee chair in Driving awareness and adoption of green chemistry in professional development.
Raksmey Derival (she/her) is a Cambodian woman, daughter of refugee immigrants, and mother of Cambodian-Haitian sons. She graduated from Suffolk University with a degree in biochemistry and forensic science which helped her gain industry experience at forensic toxicology and green chemistry labs. Raks pursued graduate studies in green chemistry with Dr. Amy Cannon and Dr. John Warner at the Center for Green Chemistry at UMass Lowell before transitioning to Beyond Benign, where she gained experience engaging with K-12 educators and student scholars. Her work included supporting scholars to be green chemistry ambassadors through public engagement, developing hands-on green chemistry lessons, and empowering science educators to incorporate green chemistry into their curriculum. She is honored to be a Beyond Benign Certified Green Chemistry Lead Teacher.
Raks is a high school (grades 9-12) science teacher at Innovation Academy Charter School. She aspires to facilitate her chemistry, green chemistry, forensic science, and science and social justice classes through anti-bias, anti-racist, equitable and culturally responsive teaching lenses. In 2019, Raks was inducted into the American Chemical Society’s Aula Laudis Honor Society, considered a Hall of Fame for high school chemistry teachers in the northeast US. She is honored to serve on the Massachusetts Culturally Responsive Teaching Task Force and IACS Racial Justice Committee. Raks is passionate about healing the world through kindness and science, creating positive energy in social justice movements, and empowering others to remember that they are always, and in all ways, greater than they think they are.
Laura Barnes is the Sustainability Information Curator at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign’s Illinois Sustainable Technology Center. She is a degreed librarian with extensive experience in providing information services to pollution prevention engineers and environmental scientists. From 2012-2019, she served as Executive Director of the Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable, a U.S. EPA-funded pollution prevention information center, where she facilitated networking and information sharing among pollution prevention technical assistance providers in the Great Lakes states and advised other centers in EPA’s P2Rx National Network on new ways to organize, gather, and share information. She founded and authors the Environmental News Bits blog, has taught workshops on sustainability planning for businesses and organizations, and has published several articles on greening libraries. She holds a B.A. in History and M.S. in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
Mellor, Dr. Karolina
Karolina oversees all education, outreach and international partnerships at the Center for Green Chemistry and Green Engineering at Yale. Before coming to Yale in 2014, Karolina received her Ph.D. in molecular biology from the University of Virginia. She also worked at the University Innovation Licensing and Ventures Group where she evaluated patent strategies and explored commercial potential of technologies developed at the university. Now, Dr. Mellor oversees the Yale-UNIDO collaboration that brings green chemistry to practitioners in emerging economies around the globe. She works with industry, academia and governments to advance dissemination green chemistry and build a sustainable ecosystem that supports green chemistry innovation.
Stone, Dr. Kari
Kari Stone is an associate professor of chemistry at Lewis University where she teaches biochemistry courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels. She received her Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University in 2008 under the direction of Michael T. Green in the field of bioinorganic chemistry. After receiving her Ph.D., she transitioned into synthetic inorganic chemistry at the University of California-Irvine as a postdoctoral associate with Andrew S. Borovik. Kari has been teaching in higher education since 2009 maintaining an active research program with undergraduate and graduate students. Her research interests involve greener alternatives to synthetic processes where she focuses particularly on biocatalysis. You can find information on her research interests here: www.stonelaboratory.com. Dr. Stone is also a member of the leadership council of IONiC VIPEr (https://www.ionicviper.org), a 1500 member community of practice aimed at providing resources and community to faculty that teach inorganic or associated fields.
Haack, Dr. Julie A.
Dr. Julie A. Haack develops tools and experiences that connect design and innovation to the science of sustainability. She is an emeritus faculty member in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Oregon where, in 2005, she created the first green chemistry education database (GEMs) and later coordinated the Green Chemistry Education Network (GCEdNet). GEMs was a free, internet accessible collection of chemistry education materials focused on green chemistry. The database was designed as a comprehensive resource including laboratory exercises, lecture materials, course syllabi and multimedia content that illustrated chemical concepts important for green chemistry. Later in her career, she created educational experiences and professional development opportunities that integrated green chemistry into the curriculum for design, journalism and business majors. Her goal was to gather diverse student perspectives, at the point of invention, to create more robust ideas at the heart of a sustainable future. Julie is currently a career development coach for post-doctoral scholars in the Center for Translational Biomedical Research at the University of Oregon’s Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact.