Tracy Halmi

Tracy Halmi
Associate Teaching Professor, Chemistry
Office Phone
Office Location
36 Hammermill
PENN STATE BEHREND
1 PRISCHAK BUILDING
ERIE PA 16563
Biography

Teaching

Teaching Specialties

  • General Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry

Teaching Statement

Teaching chemistry can only really begin when a student understands that chemistry is EVERYWHERE. From the beginning, I try to help my students understand why it is important for them as a person to understand chemistry and why I am so enthusiastic about the topic. I try my best to remain energetic and optimistic throughout every lecture and every laboratory. All I ask of my students is to try their best. Students are sometimes challenged by the subject matter, but as a teacher, I am challenged by teaching.

Research Interests

When I arrived at Behrend, I decided to use my passion for chemistry to teach science beyond our campus. Public outreach is an umbrella term for a variety of activities by universities aimed at promoting public awareness (and understanding) of science and making informal contributions to science education. I participate in outreach in two distinct ways. First, I create and present hands-on activities and chemical demonstrations for school-aged children. My most recent creation is Science Story Time. Science Story Time engages the youngest of scientists – preschoolers age 3-5. These young scientists are invited to campus with their parents for a one hour session that includes reading a children’s book then participating in science-related hands-on activities. Science Story Time is truly a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) program since the activities and demonstrations are built upon children's literature. In conjunction with the Yahn planetarium, the pilot program debuted on February 22, 2017 and is now on-going. The pre-K children and their parents have embraced the program and I’m happy to report it is a sold-out smash hit. The second aspect of my scholarly activity allows me to disseminate information about the programs I have developed to colleagues who wish to establish similar events in their communities. Through my work with the American Chemical Society (ACS), I have been able to share my creativity and outreach efforts beyond a local audience. I became involved in creating themes, activities, and programming for National Chemistry Week (NCW) starting at a local level but also for a national audience. I have organized and participated in NCW events at the Millcreek Mall, The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, the San Diego Zoo and the California Science Center to name just a few. These events and science related programming have reached thousands of youth during NCW. The overall reach is hard to quantify, but I’m extremely proud of my programs and the number of children it has inspired. My programs have been recognized nationally with four ChemLuminary awards, an ACS award recognizing excellence in chemistry outreach.

Publications

Science Story Time - at Home! - May, 2020
Collaborator: Kennedy Whitman, Author

Celebrating Chemistry: Color our World, Celebrating Chemistry - October, 2015

Celebrating Chemistry: The Sweet Side of Chemistry - Candy!!, Celebrating Chemistry - October, 2014

Celebrating Chemistry: Energy - Now & Forever!, Celebrating Chemistry - July, 2013

Celebrating Chemistry: Nanoscale, Celebrating Chemistry - July, 2012

Celebrating Chemistry: Chemistry Our Health, Our Future! - August, 2011

Collaborating to Celebrate National Chemistry Week, Journal of Chemical Education - 2010

Did You Know? , Chemistry.org, the website of the American Chemical Society - July, 2006

Program Insights, Chemistry.org, the website of the American Chemistry Society

Revisiting the Electric Pickle Demonstration, Journal of Chemical Education - 2005
Collaborators: M. Rizzo, Student Author; A. Jircitano, Co-Author; M. Kociolek, Co-Author; J. Magraw, Co-Author

Outstanding Co-Coordinators! , Chemistry.org, the website of the American Chemical Society. . - October, 2005

Student Affiliates Work the Mall, in Chemistry, an undergraduate chemistry magazine - April, 2000

Chem 036/036B Laboratory Manual, Chem 036/036B Laboratory Manual - August, 1999

Solid-State 109Ag NMR: A Sensitive Environmental Probe for Silver Thiolates, Inorganic Chemistry - 1996
Collaborators: H. Fijolek, Co-Author; A. Benesi, Contributor to Edited Volume; M. Natan; P. Gonzalez-Duarte, Contributor to Edited Volume

Characterization of Low-Valent Nickel Complexes Stablized by bis(diphenylphosphino)Methane Using Multinuclear NMR and IR Spectroscopy, Journal of Chemical Education - 1995
Collaborators: V. Trumpy, Student Author; T. Gallaher, Contributor to Edited Volume; S. Schreiner, Primary Author

Luminescent Labels for Purine Nucleobases: Electronic Properties of Guanine Bound to Rhenium(1), Inorganic Chemistry - 1995
Collaborators: P. White, Contributor to Edited Volume; H. Thorp

Synthesis and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Solution Studies of Zerovalent Nickel-carbonyl-dppm Complexes, Inorganica Chimica Acta - March, 1993
Collaborators: V. Trumpy, Student Author; S. Shreiner, Primary Author

Education

MA, Inorganic Chemistry, University of North Carolina

BS, Chemistry, Penn State University