Emily Jarvis

LMU professor Dr. Emily Jarvis reacts to need for green-friendly chemistry

LMU professor Dr. Emily Jarvis doesn’t just teach students chemistry that works, she teaches them chemistry done right. A native of Orange County, Calif., Jarvis’s infectious passion for her work is known to shine through not only in the accomplishments of her students, but her department as well.

“The mission of the university has been instrumental in getting our department involved in the Green Chemistry Commitment,” Jarvis said, the aim of which is to teach students how to design and develop innovative, efficient and environmentally sound chemical solutions to the health, safety and effectiveness of chemical products and processes.

She adds that LMU was the first private four-year university in the West to sign the Commitment, making way for a truly transformative curriculum.

A graduate of UCLA’s doctoral program in chemistry, Jarvis was originally drawn to the bluff seven years ago for the university’s mission, teacher-student model, quaint size and is still routinely impressed by the level of commitment and drive she sees in her students.

“LMU students really embrace the mission’s tenet of educating the whole person,” Jarvis said. “I see it in their dedication to their coursework, outside the classroom, in their service to others. And likewise, the faculty is equally as dedicated.”

Jarvis describes her teaching style as employing aspects of the Socratic method, while bringing in current examples and examples from her own research that directly relate to the fundamental principles being studied. Currently, she is teaching Physical Chemistry and a Physical Chemistry Lab, and next semester will teach Quantum Chemistry and Wine Chemistry.

In the coming weeks, Jarvis will attend the Southern California College Undergraduate Research Conference with a few of her students who will be presenting on their investigations into water oxidation by way of amino acids in search of novel sources of green energy. Next spring, they will present their findings at the American Chemical Society’s annual convention in New Orleans.

Prior to LMU, Jarvis was a Science Policy Advisor for the U.S. Senate and National Institute of Standards and Technology and taught for periods at both Kenyon College and Gordon College.

Outside of the lab, Jarvis is an avid triathlete who trades the morning traffic for bike rides to work, paints and sculpts, has two young sons and isn’t shy about her love of quantum mechanics.

What advice does Jarvis have for new and incoming Lions?

“Develop relationships with other students and faculty,” Jarvis said. “And office hours are not an inconvenience, please visit.”