Louise Pasternack received her Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the Johns Hopkins University. She worked for over twenty years as a research scientist for the Navy, studying the reactions of free radicals related to energetic materials, flame chemistry, and atmospheric chemistry. She is currently a Senior Lecturer in the Chemistry Department at the Johns Hopkins University.
The best part of teaching in the summer is that the class is small so I can get to know my students. It also lets me try out new experiments and different teaching techniques. Teaching the lecture as well as the lab helps me understand the areas that cause the students the most difficulty. I also can be sure the lab and lecture are aligned.
The students include post-baccalaureate students, Hopkins undergraduates, and undergraduates from other universities. Many of the post-baccalaureate students have backgrounds in fields other than science so they bring a lot of diversity to the classroom. Many of the undergraduates are changing majors and catching up on requirements. I am always impressed by the dedication and diligence of the summer students.