Steven Petritis graduated with his B.A. in chemistry from Grinnell College in 2015. As an undergraduate student, he worked in an organic synthetic laboratory on the total synthesis of indole alkaloid natural products under the direction of Dr. Erick Leggans. After starting graduate school at the University of Arizona in the Fall of 2015, he began his graduate career conducting research in a bioinorganic synthetic laboratory before following his passion for teaching and education to the chemical education research program. Steven is now a fifth-year chemistry Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry (CBC) at the University of Arizona. His current research involves working closely with the organic chemistry teaching labs on a project focused on student meaningful engagement in laboratory courses, with a specific focus on student argumentation and factors that impact the student laboratory learning environment.
Besides his passion for chemical educational research, Steven is actively involved in teaching assistant training, laboratory course material design, and curriculum development for the sophomore-level undergraduate organic chemistry laboratory courses. Steven is also working towards his Certificate in College Teaching (CCT) with the Office of Instruction and Assessment (OIA) and has been an active Faculty Learning Community (FLC) participant over the past school year. During the Fall 2019 semester, Steven will be co-facilitating the new Graduate Student Learning Community in working to establish a well-connected community of graduate student teaching professionals. Following his time in graduate school, Steven looks forward to continuing his hunger for learning and passion for education, teaching, and research as a college-level professor. Throughout his future educational career, Steven hopes to work to bridge the gap between research and practice in the chemical discipline and promote the spread of collaborative learning environments and teaching professional development across STEM fields.