Dr. Brian Lamp
Professor of Chemistry
B.A.-Augustana College (Sioux Falls, SD) Ph.D.-Iowa State University
Research interests: My research interests are in the areas of surface design and electroanalytical chemistry. Electroanalytical techniques are based on the oxidation and reduction of species in solution and hold promise in the sensor arena because they are relatively straightforward, robust, and cost-effective. Many of the challenges in electrochemical measurements center on the ability of the technique to distinguish one analyte from another. Most of our projects are aimed at improving this "selectivity" for electroanalytical measurements. I also have projects that involve the application of separation science to environmental samples. Separation techniques have the benefit of being able to isolate a target analyte from the more complex sample and determine the quantity present. These projects may provide results that are of use to the members of the Kirksville community and surrounding area. What attracted you to teaching at Truman? I was very impressed with the strong relationship between faculty and students. Even before I began looking for a job, I was made aware of this strength by a graduate school colleague. He was an alumnus of Truman (Northeast) and a St. Louis native and it always impressed me that he make a special effort to come to Kirksville to visit his research mentor and other chemistry faculty. Given that insight, I had some high expectations when I arrived. I haven't been disappointed. What do you think makes Truman unique? The combination of the strong interactions between students and faculty really makes Truman special. In the Chemistry Department, we really get to know our students and our students get to see us as something other than a professor in a class. That level of connection makes it easier for students and faculty to be colleagues in the education and it fosters a level of trust that doesn't happen in many schools. What do you like best about teaching at Truman? Our students. Aside from being strong academically, our students are just a lot of fun. How have you involved undergraduate students in your research? Students are involved in all aspects of my research. They pose questions, design and conduct experiments, analyze and interpret data, and document and present results. I have had many students give presentations at national and regional meetings. I see my role as a research mentor as that of a catalyst. My job is to get the students involved and moving in the right direction and then get out of the way so that they can get a clear picture of what the research process is really like. What do students seem to like most about your classes? I think they appreciate that I am truly interested in their success and am willing to help them achieve their goals. The fact that we are partners in their education makes it easier for students to accept and tackle the challenges we pose in class. What careers have some of your former students entered? Many of my former students have entered chemical industry either before or after earning an advanced degree. Several students have also entered medical school while others have entered law school or pharmacy school. What do you like best about living in Kirksville? It is hard to beat the quality of people you find in a small, Midwestern town and there are great opportunities to get involved and make a difference in the community. I encourage all of our students to make the time to explore and get involved in the Kirksville community.