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Success Stories

Chemistry: A Zany Love Story

Posted on May 23, 2014

Picture of Dr. Kristine Smetana

Dr. Kristine Smetana loves chemistry. She loves the squish of slime and digging her fingers into oozing, bubbling oobleck. She loves the pop of goggles on faces and the wonder and surprise she elicits when an exothermic reaction instantly creates a hot, foamy mess.  She loves the periodic table of elements.  She even loves the smell of hydrogen sulfide.  And, Smetana, a professor of chemistry at John Tyler Community College, is the reason why so many Tyler students – and children throughout the greater Richmond area – now love chemistry too.   

Smetana routinely gets high marks for her zany, engaging teaching style at the College.  She also coordinates countless hands-on science activities at the College’s Fool for Art Festival each April, and she was recently recognized by the American Chemical Society with her ninth ChemLuminary Award for innovative and creative ways of sharing chemistry in her community. She was spotlighted on the American Chemical Society’s College to Career website for Chemical Education and was the ACS Outreach Volunteer of the year for the Virginia Section. Each year, Smetana coordinates activities for National Chemistry Week and Earth Day at the College and at venues around town, including the Science Museum of Virginia.  If you see her, stand back, and let her do her thing.  You’ll love it. 

John Tyler Community College
We're Not What You Expect


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