B.S., Houghton College
Ph.D., University of Arizona
Current Research Interests
Professor Steffen's research focuses on Organic Electrochemistry. For the last few years he has been involved in an extensive collaboration with Professor Albert Fry of Wesleyan University on the synthesis and investigation of tri-aryl amines and their use as catalysts for oxidation reactions. Other research has involved investigation of the dissolution of benzoin by Atomic Force Microscopy in collaboration with J.Michael McBride at Yale University and using computational chemistry to model the electrochemical and torsional properties of large polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.
For the past few years Professor Steffen has been heavily involved in the delivery of science courses for non-science majors at Fairfield University. Working with Kathy Nantz from our Center for Academic Excellence, and large number of Natural Science faculty interested in core science, we obtained a major NSF-CCLI grant for the development of Coupled Core Courses and the creation of the Resource Center for Core Science. The course coupling involves teaching two science core courses in a coordinated way to create a much richer integrated and interdisciplinary learning environment. The University has provided significant funding to remodel an old laboratory space to create the RCCS laboratory/lecture classroom. Our goal has been to increase student awareness of the process of science as a potent way of knowing that has utterly changed the world in which we live. We seek to expose students to the true nature of doing science and the great joy of finding out ways to model the rich complexity of the world around us.
- CH 85: Chemistry,Energy & Environment
- CH 211: Organic Chemistry I
- CH 212: Organic Chemistry II
- CH 398: Research & Seminar
- HR 202: Honors Seminar
- HR 300: Interdisciplinary Inquiry