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Tara Kishbaugh

POSITION: Professor; Dean of School of SEAN - School of Sciences, Engineering, Art and Nursing

DEPARTMENT: School of Sciences, Engineering, Art and Nursing

LOCATION: Main Campus, Harrisonburg | UC 275C

PHONE: (540) 432-4665


Dr. Tara L.S. Kishbaugh was appointed to the role of academic dean in July 2019. Prior to that role, Dr. Kishbaugh held the role of chair of the biology, chemistry, and environmental science programs. Tara obtained her undergraduate degree in chemistry from Wheaton College and her graduate degree in organic chemistry at Dartmouth College under the mentorship of Gordon W. Gribble.  Her graduate studies focused on the reactivity of electron deficient indoles. During graduate school, she spent a year teaching organic chemistry at St. Michael’s College, Winooski, Vermont. Afterwards, she was a Dreyfus postdoctoral fellow at the University of Massachusetts, North Dartmouth campus. During this position, she taught as well as worked with fluorinated allenes. At EMU, Dr. Kishbaugh has taught a variety of courses, including organic, general, medicinal, and environmental chemistry as well as seminars on ethics, land use, and food chemistry. Tara has been involved in a number of trans-disciplinary projects on campus, such as EMU Common Reads, a common reading program. Tara’s chemistry-related hobbies include photography, baking, and tie-dying. Tara’s research interests include chemical education, heterocyclic chemistry, and water quality studies.

Dr. Kishbaugh’s research interests include
- Chemical education projects, such as assessing non-content learning in laboratory research projects, or
- Assessing student familiarity with and understanding of green chemistry, or
- Improving student’s engagement with math coursework by adding contextual relevance to the assignments
- Writing review chapters on heterocyclic chemistry- in particular indoles and pyridines
- Water quality monitoring in the local watershed related to bacterial contamination, run-off or hydrofracking.


PHD, Dartmouth College (Organic Chemistry)
BS, Wheaton College (Chemistry)

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