Chemistry Department

The fundamental principles of chemistry constitute some of the most important underlying concepts for understanding the physical and biological behavior of nature. Hence, some knowledge of chemistry is a prime requisite for anyone who is to be considered liberally educated.

The Department of Chemistry at Saint Mary's sees its focus as providing students with the liberal arts background and comprehensive chemical education necessary to succeed in graduate or professional school or in entry-level careers in the chemical sciences.

Join the Chemistry Club

Chemistry students can be involved in the activities of the department, especially through the Saint Mary’s Chemistry Club. The Chemistry Club has been a student affiliate chapter of the American Chemical Society since 1947. The club sponsors speakers, field trips, fundraisers, educational programs, and social events.

The Benefits of a Chemistry Major at Saint Mary’s

  • Contemporary science equipment for use in labs and independent research
  • Funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF)
  • Small class sizes and personal attention from faculty and staff
  • Professors who have work experience in the areas that they teach
  • Summer research in close proximity to major medical facilities like Winona Health, Gundersen Lutheran Hospital, and Mayo Clinic

Goals for Our Students

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the fundamental chemical principles and concepts by applying them to the solution of unfamiliar chemical situations and exercises
  • Predict the products of chemical reactions, propose reagents to transform one compound into another, draw reaction mechanisms, name compounds, and interpret spectral data for the purpose of structural determination
  • Solve practical chemical problems by gathering pertinent information, applying chemical concepts where appropriate, and calculating and interpreting numerical results
  • Work as a team to design laboratory approaches to solving chemical problems, use the chosen methodologies to obtain meaningful data, and present satisfactory qualitative and quantitative solutions to the problems
  • Design and implement an original research project that includes an effective survey of the chemical literature as well as independent experimental or theoretical work
  • Effectively communicate the results of original research in a formal written report and/or oral presentation

The department believes that active learning, self-directed learning, and group learning are all valid approaches to accomplish the above outcomes. As a consequence, the courses designed by the department rely heavily on guided-inquiry methods, laboratory projects, and research, with constant stress on written and oral communication. Our general belief is that students learn better by doing.

Exploring the possibilities of regenerative medicine

Two weeks ago Bailey O’Hare ’19 didn’t know that much about amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and she knew even less about regenerative medicine. As part of a new summer workshop at Saint Mary’s University, O’Hare is getting an in-depth look at how the emerging field of regenerative medicine could one day help patients suffering from […] Read more ›

Saint Mary’s receives $1.5 million to enhance science, business

WINONA, Minn. — With a recent $1.5 million donation, Betty Kabara—current trustee and longtime supporter of Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota—is enhancing and furthering the university’s science and business initiatives. Through her generosity and partnership, Kabara, a resident of Galena, Ill., will help Saint Mary’s prepare tomorrow’s students to meet the challenges and demands of […] Read more ›

Saint Mary’s receives 2016 Regenerative Medicine Minnesota Education Grant

WINONA, Minn. — Saint Mary’s University is pleased to announce that a science grant proposal of close to $100,000 has been funded by Regenerative Medicine Minnesota (RMM) for 2016-17. The grant will support a two-week intensive theoretical and practical program next spring to raise interest and awareness for regenerative medicine and tissue engineering among Saint […] Read more ›

From here to career

By Abbie Fangman ’17 Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota strives to build confidence in students and prepare them for meaningful careers after graduation. The Career Services and Internships Office is a major player in helping undergraduate students on the Winona Campus successfully search for postgraduate opportunities. Director of Career Services and Internships Michael Hagarty often […] Read more ›


Jaime Mueller, Ph.D.

Chemistry - Associate Professor, Chemistry - Department Chair

St. Mary's Press, SMPF

Campus Box: # 14

(507) 457-6935

Jaime Mueller Ph.D.
Brett Bodsgard, Ph.D.

Chemistry - Associate Professor

Saint Mary's Hall, SM201A

Campus Box: # 14

(507) 457-6972

Brett Bodsgard Ph.D.
Christopher Jordan, Ph.D.

Chemistry - Assistant Professor

St. Mary's Press, SMPB

Campus Box: # 14

(507) 457-1556

Christopher Jordan Ph.D.
Nathan Lien, Ph.D.

Chemistry - Associate Professor

St. Mary's Press, SMPE

Campus Box: # 14

(507) 457-1558

Nathan Lien Ph.D.
Debra Martin, Ph.D.

Biology - Professor

St. Mary's Press, SMPG

Campus Box: # 10

(507) 457-1628

Debra Martin Ph.D.