Squibb Lectures

23rd Annual S. Dexter Squibb Distinguished Lecture Series in Chemistry

Featuring Dr. Benny C. Chan on Inclusive Excellence in Chemistry


Symposium for Chemistry and Biochemistry Undergraduate Research

Monday, September 13, 2021: 6:30-7:30 p.m., Highsmith Student Union – Alumni Hall

An informal symposium of research posters presented by current UNC Asheville undergraduate students in Chemistry and Biochemistry,


Public Lecture: “Intersectionality and Other Queer Superpowers to Create Inclusive Excellence in Chemistry”

Monday, September 13, 2021: 7:45-8:45 p.m., Highsmith Student Union – Alumni Hall

Abstract:  My multiple social identities have created a unique positionality that has driven the diversity, equity, and inclusion work in the School of Science at The College of New Jersey.  Pop culture references will be used to describe the different queer superpowers I have developed to navigate societal norms during my academic training and early part of my career.  These intersecting identities allowed me to develop a strong passion for equity and inclusion for students from all backgrounds.  These superpowers in action will be demonstrated by our social science based model to shift teaching culture towards an Experimentalist Teaching and how the model was applied and assessed during General Chemistry curricular transformations.


Student Lecture: “I’m not that innocent: CUREs that led to novel aminoquinoline sulfonamide coordination compounds with interesting redox properties”

Tuesday, September 14, 2021: 12-1 p.m., Highsmith Student Union – Alumni Hall

Abstract:  The inorganic chemistry laboratory curriculum was transformed to include a CURE (course-based undergraduate research experience) to create equity in research experiences at The College of New Jersey.  Through a discovery-based strategy, students were able to find new avenues of study which led to new directions in the research group.  Through hypothesis driven experiments, students proposed an aminoquinoline sulfonamide chelating system from the literature.  Based on the literature, they proposed and synthesized a p-nitrobenzene ligand analog to synthesize unreported coordination complexes.  The work led to an extensive project studying the first row transition metal and rare earth chelation of these ligand systems.  The talk will discuss the findings of the first row transition metal complexes including structural changes through the series and the interesting redox properties that have not been reported before.

Dr. Benny Chan is an ACS Fellow and Professor of Chemistry at The College of New Jersey. After receiving his PhD from Pennsylvania State University, he completed post-doctoral work at Colorado State University. In addition to his research in synthesis and characterization of inorganic materials, Dr. Chan works with an interdisciplinary team of colleagues to conduct research on cultural competency, diversity, equity, and inclusion in education.

Lecture Series Changes due to COVID-19 

We are excited to be able to host an in-person S. Dexter Squibb Distinguished Lecture Series this year, after postponing last year. However, there will be a few changes due to safety concerns around the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We will not be hosting a formal reception and dinner with food and drink. Instead, we are hosting a symposium to highlight the chemistry and biochemistry research with our undergraduate students for the hour prior to the public lecture, where you can meet and talk with our current students to learn about their research working with Department faculty and about their experiences at UNC Asheville.

Masks must be worn by all attendees of the student research symposium and at both lectures, regardless of vaccination status, as required by the UNC Asheville Community Expectations Guidelines.