People - [ Faculty ]
My interests include the development and introduction of laboratory instruction that will allow students access to a relevant laboratory learning experience. I have taught organic and general chemistry at a variety of institutions, including Clemson University and the University of Maine. At these universities, my primary focus was on developing the laboratory curriculum to provide a seamless supportive environment that allows students to incorporate their knowledge from the lecture and integrate the concepts they've learned to enhance their understanding. Cooperative learning laboratories that allow students to design their own experimental approach and work together as a team to solve a problem were used to expand the student's understanding and identify how concepts they learned in lecture are applied in the real world.
For the past 3 years, my work has involved organic and analytical chemistry with Seacoast Science, Inc., a company based in Carlsbad, CA. My NSF-supported research involved identifying patterns of volatile organic compounds that emanate from mold species with the goal of more readily identifying harmful mold species in indoor environments. This program also allowed development of a small, portable, MEMS-sensor based gas chromatograph unit that can be used easily in field work or in the laboratory. This unit is relatively inexpensive, costing less than one-tenth of traditional bench-top GCs and can be shifted easily from one work space to the next. I have worked to develop this unit for introduction into undergraduate chemistry laboratories as a way for students to gain easily accessible, hands-on experience with a gas chromatograph. I have developed laboratories for use with this miniGC unit, and in collaboration with California State University at San Marcos and Miramar Community College (San Diego, CA), have placed this unit into undergraduate laboratories for student use. We are working to identify the benefits students experience as a result of their experience with this modern piece of instrumentation.
Current activities include development of a laboratory manual to accompany the MiniGC unit as it is introduced into laboratories as an analytical tool for students.
Relevant Publications and Presentations:
1. MEMS Chemicapacitative Detector for Toxic Mold, NSF Grantees Conference, Baltimore MD, April 2008 (presentation)
2. SeaPort GC: A Portable Gas Chromatography System for Field and Educational Applications, Debra A. Mlsna, Omer Katzenelson, Todd E. Mlsna, Janet E. Theime, Amy L. Woupio, Western ACS regional meeting, San Diego CA, October 2007
3. Toxic Mold Sniffer: Detection of Micrbobial Volatile Organic Compounds Using a MEMS Sensor Array, Deb Mlsna, Stephen T. Hobson, Sabina Cemalovic, Venko Gyokov, Jon Lucas, Omer Katzenelson, Sanjay V. Patel, Manna L. Warburton, Todd E. Mlsna, NSF Grantees Conference, Kansas City MO, April 2007
4. "Chemicapacitive Microsensors for Chemical Warfare Agent and Toxic Industrial Chemical Detection." Mlsna, T. E.; Cemalovic, S.; Warburton, M.; Hobson, S. T.; Mlsna, D. Patel, S. V. Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical, 2006, 116, 192-201.