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Karen StevensKaren Stevens

300 W. Hawthorne Road
Spokane, WA 99251
Phone: 509.777.4505
Fax: 509.777.4943
Office Location: Robinson Science Hall 303


Ph.D., M.A. Rice University
B.S. Marquette University

Year Joined Whitworth Faculty


Areas of Specialization / Expertise

Physical chemistry; science

Selected Publications / Presentations / Honors

Awarded a $115,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to purchase a 750-hertz, ArF laser (2001). Awarded a $90,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to purchase a 300 MHz FT-NMR spectrometer. Awarded a $9,000 grant from the Pittsburgh National Memorial College Grant Foundation to purchase a FT-IR spectrometer.

Presentations: "Inhibition and Limits of the Oscillations of the Briggs-Rauscher Reaction: Effect of Salts and Acids," at NORM/ACS, in Pullman, Wash. (2010); "Use of a placement test to determine enrollment in first year chemistry courses: Analysis of graduation patterns and student successes," at the Washington College Chemistry Teachers Association, Leavenworth, Wash., (2008); "Analysis of initial placement test results and enrollment in honors general chemistry on chemistry major graduates" at the National American Chemical Society Meeting, Boston, Mass. (2007).

Publications: "Using Visible Absorption to Analyze Solutions of Kool-Aid and Candy" in Journal of Chemical Education (2006); co-wrote "Structural and Electronic Similarities in Artificial Estrogens: Analysis using ab initio and semi-emperical models" in Biochemistry (1998); co-wrote "Use of the Worldwide Web in Lower Division Chemistry Courses" in the Journal of Chemistry Education (1996); co-wrote "An Efficient Method for Optimal Modes Analysis of Vibration: Application to HCCD" in the Journal of Physics and Chemistry(1992).

Peer reviewer for the Journal of Chemical Education, the Journal of Environmental Health Perspectives, and the American Heart Association.

Member of Phi Lambda Upsilon, Chi Beta Phi, Alpha Sigma Nu, and Lota Sigma Pi. Awards include Harry B. Weiser Scholarship for Excellence in Chemical Research, Vista Chemical Fellowship, Harry B. Weiser Scholarship for Excellence in the Teaching of Chemistry, Robert A. Welch Fellowship and Whitworth College Teaching Excellence Award (2003).

Research & Scholarship

Investigated high vibrational energy states of hydrogen cyanide and acetylene using quantum mechanics. Developed efficient technique of describing and transforming optimal coordinates of vibrational modes. Created algorithm for assignment of vibrational modes to smoothed molecular spectra.