University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

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Michelle Driessen promoted to professor

Michelle Driessen, the Department of Chemistry's general chemistry director, has been promoted to professor. Driessen is interested in the development of new teaching methods to improve educational outcomes for undergraduates and educational materials for use in general chemistry. Her work has included implementation of a problem- and team-based laboratory curriculum, an online course for introductory chemistry, a reduced-seat-time flipped general chemistry curriculum, and a peer-led workshop program to support students in general chemistry. She is co-author of a recently-published textbook on introductory chemistry, Introductory Chemistry: An Atoms First Approach. This textbook, written with co-author Julia Burdge, uses an atoms first approach specific to introductory and general chemistry.

William Tolman, chair of the Department of Chemistry, said: “Michelle’s excellent teaching and innovative contributions to the development of flipped classrooms, online learning, and other methodologies in our general chemistry courses truly stand out. Her leadership of the general chemistry program has simply been outstanding.”

Driessen earned her bachelor’s degree from Minnesota State University, Mankato, and her doctorate from the University of Iowa. She started working in the Department of Chemistry in 2002, has been the general chemistry director since 2007, and was promoted to associate professor in 2012.