Department of Chemistry
A headshot

Tamara Powers
Instructional Assistant Professor

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

P: 979-845-1846
tmpowers@tamu.edu
Web Sites Areas of Interest
  • Synthetic Inorganic Chemistry
  • X-ray Crystallography
  • Chemical Education
  • Mentoring

Current Activities

Advanced Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory (CHEM433) Instructor and Coordinator
The Advanced Inorganic Laboratory at Texas A&M is a unique upper-level lab designed to teach research independence, while introducing students to common inorganic experimental techniques. 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.

Contemporary Issues in Science (SCEN101 & 102) Instructor and Coordinator
The "Contemporary Issues in Science" course series is interdisciplinary, with contributions from faculty in all of the departments in the College of Science. Specifically the courses will bring together statistics, math, biology, chemistry, and physics to explain topics such as the big bang and evolution, in addition to discussing the current status of the environment on Earth, touching on topics such as global warming, agriculture, and energy. The course is designed for non-majors; it is intended to be engaging to a broad audience (even those averse to or afraid of STEM) and has no prerequisites.

Chemistry and Society Writing Seminar (CHEM481)
CHEM481 is our department's capstone writing seminar course for juniors and seniors. 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.

First Year Seminar: Hullabaloo U (SCEN100)
As a first year seminar instructor, I provide support to incoming College of Science freshman. Mentoring is one of my favorite aspects of my job and I love getting to know all of my students.

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.

Teaching

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

  • Cosio, M.; Cardenal, A. D.; Maity, A.; Hyun, S.-M.; Akwaowo, V.; Hoffman, C.; Powers, T. M.*; Powers, D. C.* "Exploring Green Chemistry with Aerobic Hypervalent Iodine Catalysis." J. Chem. Ed. 2020, 97, 3816.
  • JoVE Science Education Inorganic Chemistry Video Series, Oct. 2017, Journal of Visual Experiments
  • 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.