Faculty Profile: Dr. Nancy Carter Dopke
Nancy Carter Dopke started college as an undergraduate at Millikin University and hasn’t left college since.
“Teaching at a college is a great mix of activities for me,” the assistant professor of chemistry says.
“I get to spend time working with students, talking and thinking about chemistry, working in lab and spending time with people.”
Dopke joined the faculty in 2007 and shares a joint chemistry position with her husband, Joel. She earned her master’s and doctorate degrees at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
“I was very lucky to have great mentors in my undergraduate program, and I have always been driven by the desire to provide students with the same guidance and mentoring that I received,” she says. “As I began to teach I found that I really enjoyed sharing chemistry with students.”
Her specialty is inorganic chemistry, and her current research looks at the structure and reactivity of heterometallic complexes. She also has an interest in the mass spectrometry of clusters and biopolymers.
“I spent a summer at the University of Arizona when I was an undergraduate and worked on a transition metal project while there,” she says. “Beyond developing an interest in metals, I found that I really enjoyed the mix of synthesis, characterization and investigations of the project.
“My current projects offer me that same variety. My interest in the particular metals platinum and ruthenium stems from the use of these metals as anodes in direct methanol fuel cells, which harness the power of the reaction between methanol and oxygen.”
In her spare time, Dopke enjoys reading historical fiction, walking and playing with her dog, water skiing, and spending time with family and friends.