Rebecca Sanders

Associate Professor of Chemistry


+1 630 637 5175

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Dr. Sanders grew up in Peoria, IL, where she attended Bradley University. It was her experiences at Bradley that developed her passion for undergraduate education and Analytical Chemistry. She received her Ph.D. in Chemistry from the Pennsylvania State University. There, she focused on Environmental Chemistry and Geochemistry research where she used solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) to study the reactivity of clay minerals. She was a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Geosciences at Princeton University from 2011 - 2014. At Princeton, Dr. Sanders worked on several projects exploring biogeochemical cycling of elements in a variety of environments including polar and temperate soils, lakes, streams, and oceans. She traveled frequently to national laboratories where she used x-ray beamlines for experiments to identify the speciation of various elements in natural samples. At both Penn State and Princeton, Dr. Sanders mentored several undergraduate research projects.

In 2014, Dr. Sanders moved back to Illinois and joined the faculty at North Central College. At NCC, Dr. Sanders is continuing her pursuits related to Environmental Chemistry and Analytical Chemistry for both teaching and research. She is a member of the Environmental Studies Program. Dr. Sanders has served as the faculty advisor for the Student Members of the American Chemical Society (SMACS) for five years. For the past four years, SMACS has been recognized as an Outstanding Student Chapter of the American Chemical Society. She also served as a Director for the Chicago local section of the American Chemical Society and is currently an Alternate Councilor. Dr. Sanders received the 2021 Distinguished Teaching Award for Junior Faculty at North Central College.

Courses Taught

CHEM 100 Chemistry Today

CHEM 122 General Chemistry II

CHEM 310 Chemical Analysis

BIO/CHM 355 Introduction to Biogeochemistry

CHEM 391/493 Seminar

CHM 410 Instrumental Analysis

CHEM 490 Special Topics - Environmental Chemistry

CHEM 485 Senior Capstone

SCI 201 Scientific Topics in Environmental Studies

ENVI 105 The Science of Climate Change