Joined USJ: 2011
Originally an undergraduate Nursing student at then Saint Joseph College, Kristen Procko '03, Ph.D., visiting assistant professor of Chemistry, discovered a different scientific passion in her classes. “I found that I was not satisfied with understanding the macroscopic effects of a disease,” Procko remarked. “I wanted to know how enzymes were able to transform molecules, and what was happening on the cellular level when things went awry.” After conducting research studying gene expression in breast cancer cells as an SJC undergraduate, Procko interned at Pfizer, Inc., before pursuing her Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry.
As the dedicated online professor for the master’s programs in Chemistry and Biochemistry at USJ, Procko utilizes technology in every aspect of her teaching. In addition to PowerPoint lectures and virtual discussions, she has developed animation skills in order to help her students visualize how bonds form in complicated chemical processes. Her instructional videos can be found on her YouTube channel. “I aim to create a collaborative, discussion-based environment, where students can learn from each other, and from me,” explained Procko.
While online courses can often feel isolating, Procko works to ensure her students are engaged, constantly learning, and feel like a part of the USJ community. She chats with students online or on the phone, holding weekly office hours that are problem-solving sessions. She is committed to serving as a resource for her students both throughout the course and in the future. “My students are my future colleagues, so I like to get to know them and maintain relationships beyond graduation,” said Procko. “It is fulfilling and exciting to help students achieve their next step and realize their dreams.”
Ph.D., The University of Texas at Austin
B.S., University of Saint Joseph
Email: [email protected]
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