Faculty Profile: Dr. Judy Jenkins

Faculty Profile: Dr. Judy Jenkins

Dr. Judy Jenkins joined the EKU Chemistry Department in Fall 2014 as an Assistant Professor (Inorganic Chemistry).  Her research interests center around the development of photocatalyts from earth-abundant precursors.  These nanocrystals use the energy from absorbed solar photons to reduce protons, thereby generating storable fuels such as hydrogen gas.  Students in the Jenkins Research Group will gain hands-on experience with the synthesis and characterization of lead-doped ZnS nanocrystals.  Once realized these photocatalysts may ultimately lead to affordable, efficient solar fuel generation and may be further extended towards the generation of hydrocarbon fuel sources such as methane (CH4) and methanol (CH3OH) via the reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2).  Students with interests in nanocrystal synthesis, solar energy conversion, and spectroscopy are encouraged to enquire about literature-based and/or lab-based research experiences.

In addition to her interests in energy conversion, Dr. Jenkins is also passionate about teaching chemistry, especially at the high school and college levels.  She will be working with those preparing for and/or continuing in teaching careers, so contact her for possible research options in the chemical education field as well!

Just prior to joining EKU, she worked as a postdoctoral research assistant in the lab of Dr. Scott Saavedra at the University of Arizona.  There, she used ultrafast transient absorbance spectroscopy to monitor photoinduced charge transfer kinetics across chromophore/metal oxide interfaces.  Dr. Jenkins earned her Ph.D. in Chemistry at the University of Arizona in 2012 in Dr. Neal Armstrong’s lab.  Her dissertation is entitled “Spectroscopic and spectroelectrochemical characterization of fundamental interfacial charge transfer processes relevant to efficient solar energy conversion.”  She earned a B.A. in Chemistry and a B.A. in Secondary Education from Knox College (Galesburg, Illinois) in 2002.  After teaching high school briefly, she served as the laboratory coordinator in Knox’s Chemistry Department before pursuing her graduate degree.

Published on January 04, 2015