Dr. Shepherd is Professor and Chair of the Chemistry department. She is experienced in the development and implementation of Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL) in the courses she teaches. She also involves undergraduate students in her computational chemistry research.

Dr. Shepherd spent the first 12 years of her academic career at Westminster College, Salt Lake City, UT before joining the faculty at St. Edward's, Fall 2014. She leads workshops offered nationwide on both facilitating POGIL in the classroom and incorporating theoretical and computational chemistry into the undergraduate chemistry curriculum. Her research efforts with undergraduates involve the use of coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations to study aqueous systems at the nanoscale. She is a member of MERCURY (Molecular Education and Research Consortium in Undergraduate computational chemistRY) and advocates for the use of technology in meaningful ways to enhance student learning.

Academic Appointments

  • Professor & Department Chair, St Edward's University, 2014-present
  • Professor, Westminster College, 2013-2014
  • Associate Professor, 2007-2013
  • Assistant Professor, 2002-2007 

Year Started

2014

Education

Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry at Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia, 2002
M.S. in Analytical Chemistry at University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho, 1995
B.S. Professional Chemistry, University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho, 1994

Research

Research

The focus of my research with undergraduates involves the application of computational methods to study biological or environmentally relevant systems. We use a coarse-grained approach that is both computationally accurate and inexpensive to provide predictive insight for a variety of different aqueous systems. Undergraduates learn to use molecular dynamics packages in conjunction with a simple coarse-grained model to study novel physical chemistry applications.

External Grants

Active Grants

National Science Foundation – Major Research Instrumentation (2012-2015), $200,000  “Acquisition of a High Performance Computer for the Molecular Education and Research Consortium in Undergraduate computational chemistRY (MERCURY)" Award Number: CHE-1229354.

Previously Awarded Grants

National Science Foundation – Major Research Instrumentation (2008-2011), $229,000 “Acquisition of a High Performance Computer for the Molecular Education and Research Consortium in Undergraduate computational chemistRY (MERCURY)" Award Number: CHE-0849677.

National Science Foundation – Major Research Instrumentation (2005-2008), $100,000 “Acquisition of a Linux Cluster for the Molecular Education and Research Consortium in Undergraduate computational chemistRY (MERCURY)" Award Number: CHE-0521063.

Publications & Articles

Publications

(*Undergraduate)

  • A. H. Nguyen, M. A. Koc*, T. D. Shepherd, V. Molinero, (2015)Structure of the Ice-Clathrate Interface” J. Phys. Chem. C, 119, 4104.
  • T. D. Shepherd and A. Grushow (2014) “Quantum Chemistry & Spectroscopy: A Guided Inquiry” John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
  • H. Hu, T. D. Shepherd, (2013) “Teaching CS 1 with POGIL Activities and Roles” SIGCSE '14 Proceedings of the 45th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, p 127-132
  • H. Hu, T. D. Shepherd, (2013) “Using POGIL to help students learn to program” ACM Transactions on Computing Education Vol. 13, No. 3, Article 13
  • T. D. Shepherd, M. A. Koc*, V. Molinero, (2012)The Quasi-Liquid Layer of Ice under Conditions of Methane Clathrate Formation” J. Phys. Chem. C, 116, 12172. 

Presentations

Presentations

  • National ACS meeting, Denver, CO, Rethinking homework – the impact of content, format & process on physical chemistry learning outcomes, Presentation (March 2015)
  • SERMACS ACS regional meeting, Atlanta, GA, Characterization of a stripe liquid crystal phase in simple binary water solutions, Presentation (November 2013)
  • 22th Biennial Conference on Chemical Education, University Park, PA, Incorporating computational chemistry in undergraduate research and education. Presentation (July 2012)
  • Invited Talk, Canadian Chemistry Conference, Calgary, AB, From atoms to nanoparticles – the development and implementation of Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL) in physical chemistry (May 2012)
  • National ACS meeting, Anaheim, CA, Revisiting POGIL methodology in the teaching of quantum mechanics, Presentation (March 2011)

For Students

Class Preparation

In the classroom students work in small groups on specially designed guided inquiry materials. These "activities" supply students with data or information and questions designed to lead them through the development of course topics. Using this method students learn to apply scientific concepts, analyze and evaluate scientific information, and communicate these ideas to others. My role as the instructor is to answer questions, facilitate discussion, and provide a context for the course material.

Why I Teach

In the courses I teach, my goal is that students will not view science as a set of facts and applications, but a process grounded in experimentation, advanced through theoretical insight, and unrestricted by traditional discipline domains. They will see learning as an active process that finds reward through the persistent hard work of minimizing misconceptions, critically constructing new understanding, and synthesizing information from a variety of experiences.