Jeanne Berk

 

Assistant Professor
Pool Science Center 121
Ext. 3507
jrberk@cedarcrest.edu

Education

B.S. in Chemistry, Miami University
M.S. in Physical Organic Chemistry, Seton Hall University
Ph.D. in Physical Organic Chemistry, Seton Hall University

Career Highlights

Jeanne Berk, Ph.D. is an assistant professor of chemistry at Cedar Crest. Her research as a graduate student was based on a new class of polymers called Dendrimers, which she synthesized and then studied their physical properties in solution. She moved to the Lehigh Valley after graduate school and worked as an adjunct instructor at local colleges and universities until finally settling into a position at Lehigh University. There, Berk acted as their first undergraduate laboratory manager, teaching and helping them redevelop their general chemistry laboratories into an inquiry based format. She left Lehigh and joined the Cedar Crest community in order to get back to teaching organic chemistry.

Memberships and Awards

Berk is a member of the American Chemical Society, Alpha Chi Sigma (Professional Chemistry) and Sigma Xi.

Why Cedar Crest?

“The environment. I first found Cedar Crest College as an adjunct teaching over the summer, but I found myself wanting to teach here more and more. So when the organic chemistry position finally opened I had to apply. Some of my closest friends graduated from Cedar Crest College, so I am honored to be here continuing their legacy and they are thrilled I could be part of their experience. The faculty and staff are inspiring and the students truly want to learn and be involved. What more could you ask for?”

Professional Advice

“College is your chance to explore, so make the most of it. If you read a class description and it sounds fascinating, try taking it. Also check out the travel abroad opportunities. It can truly open your eyes. They will all be things you’ll treasure from your college experience.”

Becoming a teacher

“After getting my undergraduate degree I had planned on going out into the industrial market, but the job market was bad I decided to go on and get my Masters degree. I left Ohio and ended up in New Jersey, a whole new world. As a graduate student I worked as a teaching assistant (T. A.) in the organic labs and teaching recitations. Students kept telling me that I explained things clearly and their “Aha” moments were pure chemistry for me. I found that the idea of working in a lab became less and less appealing and that teaching was what I wanted. I never looked back, and continued on for my Ph. D. so I could teach.”