Dr. Nick Schlotter is an associate professor of Chemistry in Hamline University's College of Liberal Arts. He completed his undergraduate degree at Carleton College and his PhD in physical chemistry and a MS in physics both from Stanford University. He did postdoctoral work at IBM in California and was a member of technical staff at Bell Labs (becoming Bellcore) in New Jersey. Following experiences with directing research at a small company and doing technical consulting, he returned to the small liberal arts school setting as a teacher. He teaches general chemistry, physical chemistry, and advanced physical chemistry topics courses in areas such as nanotechnology and polymer characterization. His research is connected to nanotechnology with students involved studies on superhydrophobic (repels water) surfaces, quantum dots, surface Raman spectroscopy, and nanoparticles.
Students taking a class with Professor Schlotter will engage in developing critical learning skills to prepare them for their future careers. He is a proponent of engaging students in their learning and makes use of the “flipped” classroom approach in upper level classes that have a focus on discussing the challenges the students find in understanding the material. In general chemistry there is a focus on small group work, lecture, and real-time assessment to determine understanding of the material. In both settings the focus is on the conceptual understanding rather than rote learning. This is based on what has been learned from the physics community in recent years from tools like the “force concept inventory” assessment. Professor Schlotter also encourages all chemistry majors to get involved in research projects, express their creativity, and take some “ownership” of discovering new chemistry.
"I want our students to be prepared to learn new skills to be able to prosper in the evolving workplaces in the future. Simply learning facts isn’t good enough. We need to help our students move beyond being knowledge consumers and become knowledge producers"
Chemistry Research Video
Check out our "Superhydrophobic Games" video to see chemistry research in action.