Department of Chemistry

Department Chair

Dr. Audrey McGowin, Interim Chair, 2020-

  • 1991 Ph.D. - Analytical/Environmental Chemistry, University of Missouri-Columbia
  • 1989 M.S. - Analytical Chemistry, University of Missouri-Columbia
  • 1985 B.S. - Chemistry, Emporia State University, Emporia, Kansas

She joined the Wright State Chemistry Department in 1994.

Former Department Chairs

Dr. David A. Grossie, 2012–2020

  • 1977 B.Sc. Texas Lutheran College
  • 1982 Ph.D. Chemistry - "X-ray Structural Investigations: I. Two Alkaline Earth Metal Complexes; II. Triphenylphosphine Oxide Silver (I) Nitrate; III. Two molecular Complexes of 18-Crown-6; IV. 2-(4,5-Benzo-1,3-dithiol-2-ylidene)-cyclohexanone; V. Bis-bicyclo-[3.3.1]-nona-9-ylidene." Texas Christian University.

He joined the Wright State Chemistry Department in 1986.

Dr. Kenneth Turnbull, 2004–12

  • 1973 B.Sc. Chemistry (1st Class Honours) from Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, Scotland
  • 1976 Ph.D. degree in "Aspects of the Chemistry of Mesoionic Compounds" from Heriot-Watt University.

He joined the Wright State Chemistry Department in 1980.

Dr. Paul Seybold, 1999–2004

  • B.E.P., 1960, Cornell
  • Ph.D., 1968, Harvard

Dr. Seybold joined the Wright State Chemistry Department in 1970.

Dr. M. Paul Servé, 1993–99, Assistant Dean to CoSM 1999–2003

Paul was one of the earliest members of the Wright State Chemistry faculty, coming to Wright State in 1965. He received his B.S. from Notre Dame in 1961 and his Ph.D. there in 1964. He did postdoctoral work in biochemistry at the University of Chicago in 1965 before coming to Wright State as an Assistant Professor that same year. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 1969 and to Professor in 1975. In addition to numerous research articles in organic synthesis, Paul authored a book, A Step-By-Step Approach to Elementary Organic Synthesis (Ann Arbor Press) in 1975. He served as department Chair from 1993-99, and from 1999 until his retirement was an Assistant Dean of the College of Science and Mathematics part time and part time teaching in the Chemistry Department. As Assistant Dean his duties were mainly in the area of science education for teachers, especially early childhood education.

Dayton Daily News–Obituary (PDF)

Dr. Sue Cummings, 1988–93

Dr. Cummings received a B.A. in chemistry from Northwestern University and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from The Ohio State University. She joined Wright State where she pursued her scientific career before retiring after 24 years on the faculty and as full professor and head of the department.

Dayton Daily News Obituary

Dr. George Hess, 1984–88

George retired from Wright State University in 1999 after 34 years of exceptional service to the Chemistry Department. George is a native of Collingswood, New Jersey. He did his undergraduate work at Juniata College in Pennsylvania, receiving his Bachelor’s degree in 1959. He furthered his education at Pennsylvania State University earning his Ph.D. in 1964. George came to Wright State in 1965, the same year as John Fortman and Paul Servé. Known for his patient, caring attitude and devotion to teaching, he won several Outstanding Teaching awards over the years. His research in environmental and organic chemistry attracted a large number of students and George was a mentor to quite a number of our Master of Science graduates.


Dr. Charles Carraher, Jr., 1976–84

Dr. Carraher received his BS at Sterling College in 1963 and PhD in 1967 from University of Missouri, Kansas City. After serving as Chair of the Wright State Chemistry Department, he served as Chair of the Science Division at the University of South Dakota, Dean of the Charles E.Schmidt College of Science at Florida Atlantic University, and Professor of Chemistry at Florida Atlantic University and Associate Director of the Florida Center for Environmental Studies.

Dr. David Karl, 1968–76

B.S., 1956, Providence; Ph.D., 1960, Michigan State University

Dr. Karl always worked hard to present an interesting, up to date program for the freshman students. He served as chairman of the Chemistry Department for seven years, as member and chairman of the University Curriculum Committee and on many other important committees. Dr. Karl was involved with areas of applied chemistry, including materials science, corrosion, environmental chemistry and polymer chemistry. In 1973, the University recognized his accomplishments by promoting him to Professor.

David J. Karl Memorial Award was established in memory of David J. Karl to provide scholarships for students majoring in Chemistry. Give Now

Memorial of Professor David J. Karl (PDF)

Dr. Robert Conley, 1967–68

A graduate of Seton Hall University with a doctorate in chemistry from Princeton, Conley had achieved prominence in the study of polymers and infrared spectroscopy. Later became Dean of Science and Engineering, instrumental in formation of the Wright State School of Medicine, In later years, after his service at Wright State, Conley was to become president of Seton Hall; still later he would be president of the Union of Experimenting Colleges and Universities in Cincinnati.

Dr. Gordon Skinner, 1966–67

Dr. Gordon Skinner, 1966–67, Acting Chair. B.S., 1947, and M.S., 1949, Manitoba; Ph.D., 1951, The Ohio State University

Dr. Skinner was one of the founding faculty members of the Wright State Chemistry Department. As faculty and Chair of Chemistry, he also had the opportunity to help guide the new university’s development, and was proud to receive the student-selected “I-Give-a-Damn-Award.”


Dr. James Kane, 1965–66

Dr. James Kane, 1965–66, Coordinator
B.S., 1954, Upsala College; Ph.D., 1960, The Ohio State University