Kim Cossey

Kim Cossey. I’m an organic chemist in the dept of Chemistry & Physics. My research focus is organic synthesis, which just means using store bought chemicals to make more complex molecules. The biggest employer of chemists like me are drug companies. I got my Ph. D. from Penn State and am originally from Oklahoma. )

Ideas for courses.
a. Drugs & Health care. For the chemistry end, I would use drugs as a platform to talk about how molecules’ shapes and electronics affect reactivity. Could also expand discussion into how drugs are metabolized. Relate drug development processes (synthesis, production into large scale, and human testing) to rising costs of prescription drugs & health care. Who will pay the costs (consumers, companies, government)?
b. Science behind alternative energy sources (hybrid vehicles, biofuels, solar, etc.) This would include the basics of how current energies work (fuel, coal, etc.) Could be linked with Environmental. WHY we need these alternatives. Long-term concerns, how chemists and biologists are contributing to new technologies and cleaning up pollution. (sidenote: did anyone see the Discovery special about large-scale removal & burying of CO2) CRAZY! Could also be linked to national and global environmental policies. Who makes the “rules” and what influences the choices of what energy types become available.
c. Chemistry of art. Focuses more on the material science angle of chemistry. Some ideas: what paints are made of and their interactions with surfaces, how removing paints vs. cleaning paintings work, chemical analysis used for art forensics


About Dr. J. Metzker

I believe in the power of a liberal education to transform individuals and society. I am currently the Executive Director of the Brown Center for Faculty Innovation and Excellence. Formerly, I led a community engagement initiative and held a full professorship in chemistry at a public liberal arts university. I am a proud product of The Evergreen State College.
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5 Responses to Kim Cossey

  1. Excellent ideas! The connection to Caralyn’s courses is obvious with the alternative energy connection. I also think there is a definite link to Will’s courses (outdoor ed) but I would like him to speak to that specifically. Now we don’t have any artists in the group (that I know of anyway) but we do have a finance person, which would be a good partnership for investigating the financial effects of the drug industry on the health care system. That course would be fascinating to me!

  2. George Cazacu says:

    Kim, I like your ideas in subpoint (b). Sometimes I spend hours sitting and thinking about solar energy (for example),even building blue prints in my mind. I don’t see how mathematics could directly intervine in a project like that, but I am sure that some math would be needed. I’d happily take part in an initiative.

  3. cbzehnder says:

    Let me know when you want to teach your alaternative energy course so I can add it to our environmental science curriculum! Actually – an upper level ENSC/CHEM seminar would be really cool…I’d be happy to lead a discussion or two.

  4. lengling says:

    I am thinking about GM is strategy on developing a car with new types of energy-electricity. They call it Volt. This car can be charged with ordinary electricity, just like charging your shaver. Students will be very interested in that car. The problem is how to make the battery more efficient.

    In response to Julia, I expect that if there is a revolution in drug industry that drop the cost of the drug, then the average health expense of US people will go down deeply.

  5. cbzehnder says:

    Kim – we should talk more about a team taught course.

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