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Karen S. Wendling, Ph.D.

Karen S. Wendling, Ph.D.

Karen's photo
Chair, Center for Natural & Behavioral Sciences
Associate Professor of Chemistry
St. Joseph Hall, 5th flr., North Wing, SJ545

Karen Wendling (Chestnut Hill College class of 2003) earned her Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. While her graduate research focused on detecting gas-phase compounds that contribute to Global Warming using Mass Spectrometry, she has more recently worked with individual student interns to detect various compounds of interest including nicotine in e-juices used for vaping, cocaine contamination of circulating currency, and active ingredients in various herbal supplements. Dr. Wendling firmly believes in the benefits of a Chestnut Hill College education, focusing on hands-on instruction in the lab and direct mentoring in the classroom. Her pedagogical research studies how cognitive apprenticeship theory (CAT) can be applied to undergraduate laboratory learning. Dr. Wendling enjoys teaching a variety of courses at Chestnut Hill, including Analytical Chemistry, Instrumental Analysis, and Principles of Chemistry. She is also the co-coordinator of the annual Harry Potter Academic Conference and continues to explore how science fiction and fantasy can be utilized to improve student learning outcomes.  

Educational Background: 
  • Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2008, under the direction of Professor Gary L. Glish)
  • B.S. in Chemistry and Environmental Science from Chestnut Hill College (2003)
  • Research Scientist II, Scientific Writer, and Consultant at Jai Research Foundation (JRF America), Audubon PA, 2012-2014
  • PRAXIS Chemistry Instructor, Turn to Teach Program, School District of Philadelphia, 2012
  • Visiting Researcher, Soprano Lab, Temple University School of Medicine, 2009-2010
Courses Taught: 

CHEM 131/132 Principles of Chemistry I and II

CHEM 131L/132L Principles of Chemistry I and II Laboratory

CHEM 301/301L Analytical Chemistry with Laboratory (Writing Intensive)

CHEM 303/303L Instrumental Analysis with Laboratory

CHEM 242 Environmental Chemistry (With Embedded Laboratory)

CHEM  230 Internship Seminar

CHEM 498 Senior Seminar

IDHP 326/327 The Emergence of the Hero in the Epic Voyage (Interdisciplinary Honors Course)

Scholarly Interests: 
Specialized Fields 
  • Analytical Chemistry and Mass Spectrometry
  • Cognitive Apprenticeship in the Undergraduate Teaching Laboratory
  • Forensic Chemistry Applications
Scholarly Interests 
  • Ion trap mass spectrometry
  • Detection of gas and liquid phase environmental pollutants
  • Cognitive Apprenticeship in the undergraduate laboratory
  • Harry Potter Scholarship

Awarded "40 Under 40: Professors Who Inspire" by NerdScholar, 2015 (https://www.nerdwallet.com/feature/40-Under-40-Professors-2015/)

Nominee for the Lindback Teaching Award, 2013

Adviser of the Year Award: Chemistry Club, 2017


Co-coordinator of the Annual Harry Potter Conference at Chestnut Hill College (2012 - present)

Chestnut Hill College Coordinator of the Philadelphia Area Girls Enjoying Science (PAGES) Program, Sponsored by the American Chemistry Society (2009 - present)

Acting Chair of the Chemistry Department (2016-2017)

Board Member of the Younger Chemists Committee of the Philadelphia ACS Section (2013-2015)

Board Member of the Delaware Valley Mass Spectrometry Discussion Group (2009-2013)

Selected Publications: 
  • Wang, F.; Wendling, K. S.; Soprano, K. J.; Soprano, D. R. The SAP Motif and C-Terminal RS- and RD/E-Rich Region Influences the Sub-Nuclear Localization of Acinus Isoforms. Journal of Cellular Biochemistry, 115: 2165 - 2174 (2014).
  • Kamel, I., Wendling, W., Chen, D., Wendling, K., Harakal, C., Carlsson, C. Effects of N-Methyl-D-Aspartate Antagonists on Bovine Cerebral Arterial Tone and 45Ca Uptake: S(+)-ketamine, Dextrorphan, and Dextromethorphan. Journal of Neurosurgical Anesthesiology, October 2008, 20:4, 241-248.