Chemistry header over north doorway of NoyesThe Department of Chemistry has been part of the University of Illinois since the university's beginning in 1868. By 1893, a four-year BS degree program in Chemistry had been established, and the first PhD in Chemistry was awarded in 1903. By the 1920s, the department was one of the largest in the United States in terms of facilities, faculty, and degrees granted. By the end of the twentieth century, more than 3,400 doctoral degrees had been awarded, making the Department of Chemistry at the University of Illinois the premier PhD-producing chemistry program in the United States. For more information about the Department, visit our Notable Accomplishments, History, and News pages.

Department Administration

Department of Chemistry Administration consists of a Head, two Associate Heads, the Director of Graduate Studies, the Director of Undergraduate Studies, the Director of General Chemistry, and a number of committees led by faculty who in turn are supported by departmental staff. To contact members of the department's administration, call (217) 333-5071.

Department of Chemistry - Administrative Organizational Chart
Department of Chemistry - Standing and Ad Hoc Committees
Department of Chemistry - Bylaws and Policy Manual

Department Head

Head shot of Jonathan Sweedler in an outdoor setting.

Professor Jonathan V. Sweedler is the Acting Head of the Department of Chemistry. The Head provides leadership for the academic mission of the department, working closely with two Associate Heads and department staff.

Associate Head of Budget and Operations

Head shot of Scott Silverman on a gray background

Professor Scott Silverman is the Associate Head of Budget and Operations. He chairs the department's Budget and Operations Committee. He coordinates development and implementation of department policies on financial topics, space, teaching, and teaching assistants. He coordinates with the Associate Director for Administration regarding financial and human resources topics. He is an ex officio member of the Admissions Committee, working with the Admissions Committee Chair to finalize all documents and procedures associated with graduate admissions.



Associate Head of Major Projects

Head shot of Professor Josh Vura-Weis.

Professor Josh Vura-Weis is the Associate Head of Major Projects. He coordinates with the School of Chemical Sciences (SCS) regarding major building projects as well as renovations, repair, and maintenance of department space. He coordinates with SCS service and support facilities regarding their service to departmental faculty, staff, and students. He oversees the implementation of department safety policies and practices in concert with SCS.



Director of Graduate Studies

Head shot of Professor Gregory S. Girolami

Professor Gregory S. Girolami is the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS), who oversee students in the doctoral program. As DGS, he coordinates with the Associate Head of Budget and Operations to provide oversight to the Graduate Admissions Committee. He works with the faculty to review decisions on the passing of requirements by doctoral candidates and the acceptability of dissertations submitted by graduate students.



Director of General Chemistry

Head shot of Dr. Tina Huang

Serving the department’s undergraduates is the Director of General Chemistry, Dr. Tina Huang. She is responsible for managing the general chemistry courses and the general chemistry instructional staff, who serve undergraduate chemistry majors as well as students from across campus.





Director of Undergraduate Studies

Head shot of Jordan Axelson

Dr. Jordan Axelson is the Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUGS). She is responsible for monitoring all aspects of the undergraduate program with the overall goal of better serving the Department of Chemistry undergraduate majors. This includes evaluating the effectiveness of multiple programs and services that constitute the undergraduate program in chemistry such as undergraduate advising, access to and quality of research experiences, job placement and access to internships, programs to recruit and retain underrepresented minorities, courses and curriculum. She is also liaison to the various offices and facilities that serve the undergraduate students within the department, including the Chemistry Learning Center, the SCS Career Counseling and Placement Services, and SCS Academic Advising.



Departmental Staff

Associate Director for Administration

Head shot of Jenny Cox

As a member of the department’s leadership team, Associate Director Jenny Cox serves as the Senior Administrative Officer of the Department of Chemistry, with primary responsibility for strategic oversight of departmental operations. Jenny oversees personnel matters and manages the department’s complex financial portfolio. To contact Jenny Cox, call (217) 244-3915 or email her at




Senior Financial Analyst

Head shot of Katie Einck

As Senior Financial Analyst, Katie Einck is the departmental approver for purchases and employee travel reimbursements. She is a resource for faculty and staff, providing guidance regarding TEM and other purchasing functions. She reviews and analyzes departmental finances and makes recommendations of funding sources for specific operational needs. She also performs periodic analysis of faculty funds to assist with deficit resolution and strategic expenditure planning.

To contact Katie Einck, call (217) 333-4938 or email her at



Assistant to the Head

Outdoor head shot portrait of Jackie Miller with trees in background

As Assistant to the Head, Jackie Miller, manages reception and provides administrative support to the Department Head and Associate Director for Administration. She is the main chemistry administrative office contact for scheduling meetings for the Department Head and departmental committee meetings. She is the contact for faculty searches, promotion & tenure processes, sabbaticals, and RNUA approvals. She also handles employee moving reimbursements for faculty and staff. 

To contact Jackie Miller, call (217) 244-3334 or email her at



Office Support Specialist

Head shot of Mackenzie Murray with a brick wall in the background

As the Office Support Specialist, Mackenzie Murray serves as the primary receptionist for the Department of Chemistry office, providing support for a variety of staff with scheduling, meeting and event planning. She also assists with travel arrangements and initiates purchases on behalf of the department.

To contact Mackenzie Murray, call (217) 333-5071 or email her at  




Student Services

Graduate Program Coordinator

Head shot of Sean Drummond

The Graduate Program Coordinator, Sean Drummond, manages the administration of the department's graduate program, including registration, graduation requirements, fellowships, and student issues. He serves as the liaison on graduate student issues to campus groups such as the Graduate College and is responsible for many aspects of data-keeping related to graduate studies in the department, including managing the format review process for theses and providing data related to graduate students to the Department Head and other campus contacts.

To contact Sean Drummond, call (217) 244-4844 or email him at

Student Services Coordinator

Head shot of Heather Schulze

The Student Services Coordinator, Heather Schulze, is the primary contact for course scheduling, enrollment, grade reporting, and classroom space assignments for the department. She serves as liaison with SCS Advising for undergraduate registration needs and with the Registrar/FMS for instructional space and enrollment capacity needs. She also coordinates the department's annual convocation ceremony.  

To contact Heather Schulze, call (217) 244-9875 or email her at


Graduate Admissions

Admissions & Records Officer

Head shot of Mayra Vazquez Rodriguez

The Admissions & Records Officer, Mayra Vazquez Rodriguez, assists prospective students and department faculty with the application and admissions process for graduate programs in Chemistry. In addition, the office tracks recruitment efforts (including communicating with other universities) and works with the Graduate College on application management and fellowship nominations for prospective students.

Information pertaining to the application process is available on our website. You may contact Chemistry Graduate Admissions directly by phone at (217) 244-6245, toll-free (800) 516-0276 in the US, or by email at

To contact Mayra Vazquez Rodriguez directly call (217) 333-6560 or email her at



Engagement and Development

Assistant Director of Advancement Operations

Head shot of Christen Mercier

Christen Mercier is responsible for alumni and donor relations. She coordinates the acknowledgment of department gifts, ensures that the use of gift funds reflects donor intent, and celebrates the impact of philanthropy on Chemistry students and faculty. She develops and manages the department’s broader communications and alumni relations strategy and initiatives. In these efforts she works closely with the department’s communications, events, finance, and major giving staff.

To contact Christen Mercier, call (217) 300-6506 or email her at



Communications Coordinator

Head shot of Tracy Crane

Tracy Crane is responsible for developing and sharing print and digital communications that highlight the department’s faculty, students, alumni, donors, research, and initiatives. She manages the department’s website and social media presence, advises on communication strategy, and serves as the liaison for publicity related to department news and events.

To contact Tracy Crane, call (217) 300-1287 or email her at



Events Coordinator

Head shot of Amanda Ramey on a dark background

Amanda Ramey is responsible for event planning and visitor hosting in support of the department’s advancement and diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. She coordinates event logistics, speaker arrangements, and guest itineraries. She works closely with the department’s advancement and diversity, equity, and inclusion staff and serves as the departmental point of contact for questions concerning event planning.

To contact Amanda Ramey, call (217) 333-3627 or email her at




Director of Development (College of Liberal Arts and Sciences)

Head shot of Joe Madden

With a focus on major gifts, Joe Madden serves as a resource for donors throughout the giving process, connecting Chemistry’s supporters with impactful philanthropic opportunities. Working as part of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, he collaborates with Chemistry staff on stewardship strategies and engagement initiatives.

To contact Joe Madden, call (217) 333-7108 or email him at

For more information about giving to the Department of Chemistry, please visit our giving page.



Instructional Technology

Assistant Director of Instructional Technology


Head shot of Alex Ibarra

 Alejandro (Alex) Ibarra, is the Assistant Director of Instructional Technology. Alex supports course technology needs and develops interactive online content for faculty and instructors. He also provides leadership in the development of Chemistry learning spaces and initiatives and serves as a liaison for instructional technology interests across campus.

In addition, Alex oversees the Chemistry Multimedia Studio and Audio Visual Technologies in the Department. 


To contact Alex Ibarra, call (217) 244-0947 or email him at


Chemistry Teaching Labs

Assistant Director of Teaching Labs

Head shot of Serenity Desmond

Serenity Desmond is the Assistant Director of Teaching Labs for Chemistry (100-400 level) labs. She is primarily responsible for the safety and operations of these spaces but is also involved in creating and providing lab-specific training for teaching assistants. Serenity is passionate about incorporating Green Chemistry principles into the lab courses and the daily lab operations.

To contact Serenity Desmond, call (217) 244-3428 or email her at



Lab Manager

Head shot of Genny Korn on a tan background

As a Lab Manager, Genny Korn is primarily responsible for the preparation of lab materials and the implementation of safety procedures for General Chemistry lab courses.

To contact Genny Korn, call (217) 244-3627 or email





Lab Manager

Head shot of Blake Lallathin on a light tan background

As a Lab Manager, Blake Lallathin is primarily responsible for the preparation of lab materials and the implementation of safety procedures for General Chemistry lab courses.

To contact Blake Lallathin, call (217) 244-3621 or email





Lab Manager

head shot of Ari Nunez

As Lab Manager, Ari Nunez is primarily responsible for the preparation of lab materials and the implementation of safety procedures for the 300-400 level Chemistry lab courses and the General Chemistry Demonstration Room.

To contact Ari Nunez, call (217) 244-6265 or email





Lab Manager

This position is currently vacant.

The Lab Manager is primarily responsible for the preparation of lab materials and the implementation of safety procedures for the Inorganic and Organic lab courses.


Chemistry Learning Center (CLC)

Assistant Director, Chemistry Learning Center

Head shot of Sarah Sheeley

As the Assistant Director of the Chemistry Learning Center (CLC), Dr. Sarah Sheeley works to provide undergraduates with the support they need to successfully navigate their general chemistry courses. In addition to providing one-on-one help to students in the CLC, she is responsible for the daily operations of the center and supervising CLC staff, as well as program development and creating online resource material.  It is her goal to use the CLC as a forum to dispel the “weed-out” mentality surrounding general chemistry and develop tools to make chemistry accessible to all students.  

To contact Dr. Sheeley, call (217) 333-9876 or email her at



General Chemistry and Area Offices

General Chemistry

Analytical Chemistry

Chemical Biology

Inorganic Chemistry

Materials Chemistry

Organic Chemistry

Physical Chemistry