Department of Chemistry
A headshot

Tamara Powers

Department of Chemistry
Texas A&M University
College Station, TX 77843-3255

P: 979-845-1846
Areas of Interest
  • Synthetic Inorganic Chemistry
  • X-ray Crystallography
  • Chemical Education
  • Mentoring

Current Activities

I am currently teaching and coordinating the Advanced Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory (CHEM433). I enjoy spending time in the lab with my teaching assistants and undergraduate students – it gives me the opportunity to share my love and excitement for synthetic inorganic chemistry. I want my students to not only learn new synthetic techniques, but also to understand the chemistry behind the experiments as well as appreciate how the experiments fit into ongoing research in the field of inorganic chemistry.

In addition to CHEM433, I am also involved in teaching the Chemistry and Society writing seminar (CHEM481) for senior undergraduate chemistry majors. Science communication is an important skill that is critical for our chemistry majors, regardless of their chosen career path. I feel that the best way to improve writing/presentation skills is through practice. Therefore, I provide students with ample opportunities to write and speak, both in and outside of the classroom.

Educational Background

I earned my Ph. D. from Harvard University in 2013, working in the laboratory of Professor Theodore Betley. My thesis focused on the study of multi-electron reduction of small molecules by triiron reaction sites. Following my Ph.D., I worked as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Roy Gordon, where I explored the synthesis of divalent first row transition metal ALD precursors.


In the fall of 2014, I began to focus my efforts on teaching. I became involved in the undergraduate chemistry program at Harvard, serving as the Chemistry Departmental Teaching Fellow as well as the Head Teaching Fellow for the general chemistry curriculum. During my time working with the general chemistry program at Harvard, I discovered my love for teaching in a laboratory setting. In September 2015, I moved to Texas A&M where I am now coordinating and teaching the Advanced Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory.

Selected Publications

  • Campbell, M. G.; Powers, T. M.; Zheng, S.-L. Teaching with the Case Study Method to Promote Active Learning in a Small Molecule Crystallography Course for Chemistry Students. J. Chem. Ed. 2016, 93, 270.
  • Powers, D. C.; Anderson, B. L.; Hwang, S. J.; Powers, T. M.; Pérez, L. M.; Hall, M. B.; Zheng, S.-L.; Chen, Y.-S.; Nocera, D. G. Photocrystallographic Observation of Halide-Bridged Intermediates in Halogen Photoeliminations J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, 136, 15346–15355.
  • Powers, T. M.; Gu, Nina; Fout, A. R.; Baldwin, A.; Sánchez, R. H.; Alfonso, D.; Chen, Y.-S.; Zheng, S.-L.; Betley, T. A. The Synthesis of Open-shell, Bimetallic Mn/Fe Trinuclear Clusters. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2013, 135, 14448–14458.
  • Powers, T. M.; Betley, T. A. Testing the Polynuclear Hypothesis: Multi-electron Reduction of Small Molecules by Triiron Reaction Sites. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2013, 135, 12289–12296.
  • Powers, T. M.; Fout, A. R.; Zheng, S.; Betley, T. A. Oxidative Group Transfer to a Triiron Complex to Form a Nucleophilic µ3 -nitride, [Fe3(µ3 -N)]– . J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2011, 133, 3336–3338.