Daniel Waddell is currently teaching as an assistant professor – educator at the University of Cincinnati. Primarily teaching first year students in general chemistry, Waddell loves sharing his passion for chemistry with over one thousand students each year.
Waddell feels that whether discussing dimensional analysis or briefing students on batteries, being part of teaching the next generation of great thinkers and inventors is exciting. Being an advisor to UC’s undergraduate chemistry group (ChemCats), also inspires Waddell to keep up to date with current literature and career opportunities for his students.
“Becoming a Goldwater Scholar in 2005 fueled my love of chemistry and catalyzed my desire to make an impact in the chemistry community,” Waddell shares. After graduating from Ohio Northern University in 2006, Waddell spent a year teaching high school science and chemistry at Marist School in Atlanta, GA. While he enjoyed teaching students at the high school level, Waddell looked to reconnect to chemistry research in addition to teaching and so went on to study chemistry at the University of Cincinnati.
In the lab of James Mack at UC, Waddell’s research focus was on green chemistry and, specifically, mechanochemistry. Working on unique and potentially more environmentally friendly chemistry techniques allowed for both interesting research as well as rewarding education/outreach opportunities in the community.
After graduation, Waddell took a teaching position as an assistant professor at Penn State Altoona. Again, the teaching aspect of the position was very rewarding, but Waddell was looking to reconnect with the research side of chemistry which the Goldwater Scholarship initially catalyzed as a passion. In his current position at the University of Cincinnati, Waddell’s primary focus is on teaching, but he is also able to take advantage of opportunities to mentor students in a research lab setting. In a sense, his journey has now come full circle with him teaching and mentoring undergraduate students just as he was taught and mentored at Ohio Northern University.
Waddell can now share his love of science as an educator and also has the opportunity to reconnect with his passion for research by working with undergraduate and graduate students in James Mack’s lab. Waddell acknowledges, “Whether I’m teaching an undergraduate course, part of an elementary school outreach, or researching new frontiers of mechanochemistry, the Goldwater Scholarship was the first award that really propelled me into my current career and I will always be thankful for the opportunity.”