Feza Ozturk, Ph.D.
Professor of Chemistry
Office: VS 218
Phone: (618) 537-6935
Ph.D., University of Florida
B.S., Ege University, Izmir, Turkey
Due to the small size of our chemistry department, I teach both introductory and upper level chemistry courses. The courses I teach include College Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, Biochemistry, Physical Chemistry, Junior Seminar and Senior Research.
My initial research specialization in physical chemistry has evolved to accommodate diverse areas over the years due to teaching a wide variety of courses in different disciplines of chemistry. Currently, I am interested in biotechnology, epigenetics, molecular roots of cancer, and quantum mechanics.
Fulbright scholar, 2007-08
A lecturer’s passion for his/her field of study is the number one factor leading to success in the classroom. The teacher’s excitement is contagious and makes the delivery of even the hardest subject matter to the students fluent. The second factor that leads to successful teaching is the experience built over years through intellectual and personal interactions with students and use of different teaching strategies and methods. Traditional teaching style in Chemistry is straight-through lecturing in the classroom. There is either no or very limited interaction between the instructor and the students. In such an atmosphere, there is no possible way to assess the understanding of the students during the course of lecture and usually, students gain no solid knowledge that they can remember afterward by analogy to a real-life experience. Students prepare for exams the day before by remote memorization of the required sections in the textbook or the notes which does not allow for the development of critical thinking and problem solving skills. I found that strategies encouraging student participation in the classroom allow the students to develop the needed skills naturally and easily. Student interaction with the teacher and the peers also helps the less motivated ones achieve their full potential. Chemistry is hard to understand due to its abstract nature and multi-level representations (macroscopic, molecular, and symbolic). I use multimedia instructional methods that combine text, sound, video, computer graphics, and Web content, because I believe that different modes of communication convey the meaning of complicated concepts to students with ease.