New chem professor sticks close to home

Fiona Kelley, Staff writer

When I sat down with Professor Andrew Baggett, I just knew him as my general chemistry professor.

I now know that he is an avid cyclist (confirmed by the bike propped up in his office) and a motivated teacher.

Baggett grew up in Silverton, Oregon, and has always had a connection with the Pacific Northwest.

During Bagget’s freshman year of college, Professor Gary DeBoer at LeTourneau University taught his class how to synthesize nitrogen triiodide, which is a contact explosive.

“We had a good time detonating that in small, safe quantities,” Baggett said.

Baggett’s career as a chemistry professor took him to the East coast, teaching at Bucknell University in Pennsylvania for three semesters, before transferring to become a chemistry professor at Linfield College.

“Linfield has a much more west-coast Oregon feel where Bucknell has a much more east coast feel,” Baggett said. “The quality and engagement of the students is equally the same. I really enjoy teaching a population of students who grew up in the pacific northwest.”

Baggett’s favorite way to teach chemistry is by letting students learn in a classroom setting, and then seeing the results in the lab.

He especially enjoys teaching labs where the students get instant feedback and results, such as the thermochemistry lab, which was taught in general chemistry last week.

“What I love about science is how deeply connected learning science can be with learning about the world. I want to share that learning with students so they can go out into the world and have a good view on nature and science.”

Even though the worst grade he got in college was a B+ in optics, Baggett was quick to point out that success in school does not necessarily mean success in the workplace.

“Struggling in school does not mean that you’re not going to be successful.”

Baggett hopes to start teaching medicinal chemistry and research in his career at Linfield College.