Staffing News

Congratulations to Prof. Shelli Frey, who became the G. Bowers and Louise Hook Mansdorfer Professor of Chemistry, an endowed professorship awarded to a research-active, full professor in the Chemistry Department! She takes it over from Prof. Don Jameson. One of the benefits of the endowed professorship is a full-year sabbatical, which she will use during the 2022-2023 academic year to focus on her research in membrane biophysics. It will also give her a break from her roles as chair of the BMB program, program coordinator of X-SIG, and chair of Faculty Council! 

Photo of Professor Frey
Prof. Shelli Frey, G. Bowers and Louise Hook Mansdorfer Professor of Chemistry

Congratulations to Prof. Kate Buettner who received tenure during the 2021-2022 academic year! Her excellence in teaching, research, and college governance was recognized with this promotion from Assistant to Associate Professor of Chemistry. Prof. Buettner teaches general chemistry (lecture and lab), inorganic chemistry (lecture and lab), and biochemistry labs; she has a highly active research program in bioinorganic chemistry, where she recently received a major NIH grant; and she actively contributes to departmental and college-wide committees, including supporting our STEM Scholars.  Prof. Buettner is serving as the interim chair of the BMB Program during Prof. Frey’s sabbatical;

Congratulations to Prof. Tim Funk, who was promoted from Associate Professor to Full Professor! He is now in his sixth and final year as Chemistry Department chair, and he is looking forward to his upcoming sabbatical in the 2023-24 academic year

Prof. Luke Thompson was supposed to be on sabbatical in Montréal during the 2020-2021 academic year, but COVID restrictions did not allow him to enter Canada. Therefore, he took a one-semester sabbatical in the spring of 2021 and stayed on campus. Fortunately, the restrictions were lifted in time for him to take a research leave in the spring of 2022, when he spent seven months working in Prof. Jean-François Masson’s group at the University of Montréal.  

Two Visiting Assistant Professors joined us in the 2020-2021 academic year: Prof. Emily Sahadeo and Prof. Jason Labonte. Prof. Sahadeo came to us from the University of Maryland after finishing her Ph.D. in May 2020. She taught Instrumental Analysis lecture and labs in the fall semester and CHEM 108 and Materials Chemistry in the spring semester while Prof. Thompson was on sabbatical. Prof. Labonte received his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University and taught at Loyola University Maryland and Franklin & Marshall College before coming to Gettysburg. In the fall semester he taught CHEM 107 and some Biochemistry I labs, and he taught Biochemistry II lecture and labs in the spring. After their time at Gettysburg, Prof. Sahadeo went to Swarthmore College as a two-year Visiting Assistant Professor and Prof. Labonte went to Towson University for a year as a Visiting Assistant Professor and began a tenure-track job at Notre Dame of Maryland University this fall.  

During the 2021-2022 academic year, we welcomed Prof. Ashlee Plummer as a Visiting Assistant Professor. Prof. Plummer got her Ph.D. at Johns Hopkins University and did a post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School. At Gettysburg she taught CHEM 107 lecture and Biochemistry I labs in the fall and Biochemistry II lecture and labs in the spring. This fall she begins a tenure-track position at Bryn Mawr College.  

We have two Visiting Assistant Professors in the department for the 2022-2023 academic year: Prof. Alecia Achimovich and Prof. Shana Wagner. Prof. Achimovich—a Gettysburg College class of 2016 BMB major—received her Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences – Biophysics in July 2022.   Prof. Shana Wagner is joining us after getting her Ph.D. in Biological Chemistry in the summer of 2022. Both Profs. Achimovich and Wagner are teaching general chemistry lectures and labs and biochemistry lectures and labs.

Photo of Professor Wagner
Shana Wagner
Photo of Professor Achimovich
Alecia Achimovich


Mary Jo Boylan, a dedicated lab instructor since 1988, taught her last lab at Gettysburg College in April of 2022. Over her 30+ years, she introduced scores of students to methods and techniques in our general chemistry laboratories. Even after getting a full-time lab instructor position at Dickinson College, Mary Jo still taught at least one lab each semester at Gettysburg, and our students are better off for it. She and her husband are moving to Ogden, Utah to be closer to grandchildren. Thanks for your years of dedicated service to our students!  

Joe Grzybowski, who retired in 2016 after 37 years of teaching in the Chemistry Department, reports that he wrote a crossword puzzle entitled “Ch…Ch…Changes.” It was published in the Sunday, November 22, 2020 edition of the LA Times. Congratulations, Joe!