Dr. Rebecca Ricciardo plays many roles in the undergraduate program. She is a lecturer of general chemistry courses and serves as an instructor and Laboratory Supervisor of inorganic chemistry. Dr. Ricciardo also works with general chemistry Teaching Assistants to develop their teaching and professional skills. We asked Dr. Ricciardo to share a few words about why she became a chemist and what makes studying Chemistry at Ohio State so special.
I chose to become a chemist because it satisfied my need to know why. Chemists study all the way down to the fundamental particles that make up matter, and this is foundational to all other work. I liked the idea gaining an “atom’s view” of the world and seeing how little pieces make significant contributions to all that we know. I have gained a greater appreciation for the world around me and for the things I see every day. Chemistry is central to the world and thus interdisciplinary. I had opportunities to explore portions of other specialties that interested me like physics and materials science.
As a graduate student in the Chemistry Department at Ohio State, I worked identifying the structural attributes responsible for specific properties. This expands the realm of smart design. The ability to pick and choose desired properties and then design a material with that potential is sought for the great impact it will have on all aspects of research and life. This broad goal drew me into the solid-state chemistry scene. It is fascinating to study a material’s properties, and then look more closely at the structure and consider both in parallel. Electronic and magnetic behavior is closely tied to the connectivity of atoms. The factors responsible for properties are numerous such as bond angles, bond distances, crystal shape & size, distortions, impurities, lattice strain, atomic structure, relative positions of atoms with each other and more.
Our department has many faculty members conducting cutting-edge research and a strong staff dedicated to the teaching mission. As a CBC student you can participate in undergraduate research with our faculty and contribute to the advancement of world scientific knowledge. Our courses and labs are designed to give you a firm understanding of all chemical divisions: physical, inorganic, organic, analytical, biological. Through a variety of upper level courses offered and research potential you are able to further study your area(s) of interest. Along the way, you have access to form mentorships with members of our department, our graduate students and your peers. There are a number of ways to be connected to our department, and you can tailor the experience and your degree to meet your needs and career goals.