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Heather Schenck

Chemistry & Biochemistry
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

Heather Schenck


Chemistry & Biochemistry

Specialty area(s)

Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy; organic chemistry; organic chemistry pedagogy

Brief biography

B.A. in Music Performance, 1989, Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins Univ.  B.A. in Chemistry, 1992, Johns Hopkins Univ.  Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry, 1998, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison.  Employed for 8 years at Kimberly-Clark Corp. in Neenah, WI as a Research Scientist and Patent Facilitator.  Employed at UWL since 2006. 

Current courses at UWL

CHM300, Fundamental Organic Chemistry (lecture) - or - CHM303, Organic Chemistry Theory I (lecture)

CHM302, Fundamental Organic Chemistry Laboratory

Alternate springs (even years):  CHM424, Spectroscopy (lecture and lab)



B.A. Music Performance 1989

B.A. Chemistry 1992

Ph.D. Organic Chemistry 1998


Teaching history

CHM305, Organic Chemistry Laboratory

Professional history

At Kimberly-Clark Corp. I worked as a research scientist for 18 months.  For 5.5 years following that, I worked as a patent facilitator, in the interface between inventors and patent attorneys.  In my final year with Kimberly-Clark I was designated as a competitive advantage strategist, and designed a database for developing competitive advantage strategies for products.

Research and publishing

Current research is focused on pedagogy for organic chemistry, including the search for improved ways to teach organic reactions and reaction mechanisms.  Recent research efforts include synthesis of small hydroxamic acids and characterization of thermodynamic and kinetic properties of the molecules by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR), as well as NMR characterization of dissolved organic carbon mixtures from biological materials.

Sippl, S. P., White, P. B., Fry, C. G., Volk, S. E., Ye, L., Schenck, H. (2016) Magnetic Resonance in Chemistry, 54(1), 46-50. Kinetic and Thermodynamic Characterization of C–N Bond Rotation by N-Methylacetohydroxamic Acid in Aqueous Media. 

Sippl, S. P., Schenck, H. (2013) Magnetic Resonance in Chemistry, 51, 72-75. (Published January 7, 2013). Conformational Analysis of a Secondary Hydroxamic Acid in Aqueous Solution by NOE Spectroscopy. 

Schenck, H., Hui, K. W. (2011) Journal of Chemical Education (published by American Chemical Society); 88, 1158-1161. Self-Association of N-Methylacetamide Examined By Infrared And NMR Spectroscopies.

F.A. Syud, H.E. Stanger, H.S. Mortell, J.F. Espinosa, J.D. Fisk, C.G. Fry, S.H. Gellman J. Mol. Biol. 326, 553 (2003).  Influence of Strand Number on Antiparallel Beta-Sheet Stability in Designed Three- and Four-Stranded Beta-Sheets.

Heather L. Schenck and Samuel H. Gellman J. Am. Chem. Soc. 120, 4869 (1998).  Use of a Designed Triple-Stranded Antiparallel Beta-Sheet to Probe Beta-Sheet Cooperativity in Aqueous Solution.

Heather L. Schenck, Gregory P. Dado, and Samuel H. Gellman J. Am. Chem. Soc. 118, 12487 (1996).  Redox-Triggered Secondary Structure Changes in the Aggregated States of a Designed Methionine-Rich Peptide.



Heather Schenck, Chemistry & Biochemistry, received the award for a winning smart phone app proposal. This idea won first prize in the APPStart Challenge from WiSys. The 2022 APPStart Challenge began in March. Three finalists presented app designs in December; the winning design, for an app intended to help organic chemistry students, was presented by Heather Schenck. A company that will be founded to own the app will receive kick-start funding from WiSys to pursue app development and marketing.

Submitted on: Dec. 8, 2022