Chemistry Department

Biography:

Member of the chemistry faculty since 2006

Education:

  • Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, East Carolina University
  • Masters of Science in Education, Science Education, University of Rochester
  • Masters of Science in Education, Education of the Hearing-Impaired, National Technical Institute for the Deaf, Rochester Institute of Technology

Courses:  General and AP Chemistry, Computational Chemistry, Medicinal Chemistry, Research in Computational Science, Research Experience in Mathematical Chemistry, American Sign Language, Jackson Lab Independent Studies in Computational BIology

Miniterms:  American Sign Language, Science and Math on the Appalachian Trail

Academic Interests:  Mr. Gotwals' primary focus is in the area of computational quantum chemistry and the use of high performance computing in chemistry. He earned a Bachelor's of Science in Chemistry from East Carolina University. He also has a Master's degree in Education of the Hearing-Impaired and a Master's degree in Science Education, both from the University of Rochester. His major project is the development of resources for students and teachers in computational chemistry, including the development of the North Carolina High School Computational Chemistry server. He has served as a Computational Chemistry Educator for the Shodor Education Foundation, Inc. and as Associate Director and Senior Science Educator for the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

School-Sponsored Activities:  Science Competitions (Ocean Science Bowl, Exploravision, Intel, ISEF, Conrad, JSHS, NC Science Academy), ASL Seminars, Lacrosse Club

Outreach Efforts:  support for the North Carolina High School Computational Chemistry server, a research-grade computing environment for learning and research in computational quantum chemistry.  Active participation in the Jackson Lab Independent Studies in Computational Biology, including receiving an NIH award of $18,000 to develop a textbook for high school students and teachers.

Other Interests and Skills:  fluent in American Sign Language, long-time professional Braille instructor and transcriber.  Serve regularly on various National Science Foundation proposal review panels.  Skilled in the use of a wide variety of computational tools, including Mathematica, STELLA, Molegro (protein docking), Gaussian 03, MOPAC, GAMESS, and Tinker.  

 

Curriculum Vitae

Current Position

 North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, Durham, NC (August 2006 – Present) Chemistry Instructor. Provide instruction in chemistry to academically gifted secondary students (Grades 11-12). Responsibilities included development and implementation of full trimester courses in general chemistry, research methods, and computational sciences.

Relevant Experience

 Shodor Education Foundation, Durham, North Carolina (1996 – 2002, 2005-Present) Computational Science Educator. Develop and implement instructional programs for diverse audiences of learners in the area of computational science (modeling and simulation). Areas of expertise include computational quantum chemistry, modeling in the health sciences (epidemiology, pharmacokinetics, physiology), modeling in the environmental sciences (air quality, water quality, ecosystems, meteorology, population dynamics), scientific visualization, and technical sign language development for the computational sciences. Audiences include upper elementary students through Ph.D. scientists. Responsible for grant writing and supervision/mentoring of junior scientists and student (high school, undergraduate) staff.

Morehead Planetarium and Science Center, UNC-Chapel Hill (April 2002-March 2005) Associate Director. Responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center, including budget, personnel, building upkeep and maintenance, and internal (UNC) and external (community) relations. Responsible for long-term strategic planning, including submission of grant proposals, providing leadership on construction of new building, and development of new initiatives and collaborations with campus science departments. Senior Science Educator. Responsible for the overall quality of science education programs at MPSC. Develop and implement hands-on, inquiry-based programs in astronomy, genomics, medicine, environmental sciences, computational science, chemistry, and scientific visualization for the Grade 3-adult community of learners. Directed several curriculum development projects in bioinformatics, pharmacogenomics, and medicinal botany.

North Carolina Supercomputing Center, Research Triangle Park, NC (1992-1996) Computational Science Educator. Develop and implement instructional programs for diverse audiences of learners in the area of computational science (modeling and simulation). Provide instruction and support to members of the high-performance computing (supercomputing) community in North Carolina. Development and implementation of a multi-year program in high-performance computing, “Superquest for Teachers” (National Science Foundation)

Montgomery Blair Magnet Program in Science, Mathematics, Computer Science, Silver Spring, MD (1987-1992) Chemistry and Computer Science Teacher. Provide instruction in chemistry and computer science to academically gifted secondary students (Grades 9-12). Responsibilities included development and implementation of full semester courses in general chemistry, analytical chemistry, research methods, and computational sciences. Coach of several winning teams in the national student competition “SuperQuest Supercomputing Challenge”.

Gallaudet University, Department of Science, Washington, DC (1983-1987) Chemistry and Computer Science Teacher. Provide instruction in chemistry and computer science to hearing-impaired college students, with an emphasis on students enrolled in a freshman support program of instruction. Designed and constructed a science laboratory for use by freshmen, including the development of an instructional program in laboratory sciences.

New York State School for the Deaf, Rome, New York (1982-1983) Chemistry and Computer Science Teacher. Provide instruction in chemistry and computer science to hearing-impaired high school students.

United States Navy and Naval Reserve (1974-1996) Hospital Corpsman/Intelligence Officer. Active duty as an enlisted US Marine Corps Hospital Corpsman, with experience in field medicine, labor and delivery, emergency room, operating room, and anesthesia. Commissioned officer in 1984, assigned to Naval Intelligence, with tours of duty at the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Atlantic Intelligence Command, and other intelligence assignments, with work in Russian language translation, computer war-gaming, and other intelligence analyst taskings. Retired as a Lieutenant Commander (LCDR).

Memberships

Sigma Xi

 American Chemical Society

National Science Teachers Association

 North Carolina Science Teachers Association

National Braille Association (life member)

Honors and Awards

National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT) Genetics Education Award, 2014

UNC-General Administration/NCSSM "Outstanding Scholarship Award", 2011

Chancellor’s Award, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill,

2003 Graduate, Center for Creative Leadership,

2004 Graduate, Leadership Durham, Durham Chamber of Commerce,

2000 Junior Officer of the Year, Reserve Intelligence Area 15, 1992

Eagle Scout, 1970

Outstanding Junior Citizen of the Year, West Chester Chamber of Commerce, 1970