Dr. Kelly Y. Neiles
Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Photo of Dr. Kelly Y. Neiles

Departments: Chemistry and Biochemistry
Office: Goodpaster Hall 202
Email: kyneiles@smcm.edu
Phone: (240) 895-4452


Ph.D. The Catholic University of America, 2012
M.S. George Washington University, 2008
B.S. South Dakota State University, 2005

Courses Taught:

  • General Chemistry I Lecture (CHEM 103)
  • General Chemistry II Lecture and Lab (CHEM 106 and 106L)
  • Contemporary Chemistry with Lab (CHEM 101)

Research/Professional Interests

My research is in the field of Chemical Education. This means I research how students learn chemistry and what we as instructors can do to make it a better experience for more students. My current research is in the following two areas:

1)     I’m interested in how students use their textbooks to learn chemistry content. This includes how they read the text and use the visual aids (such as tables, graphs, charts, figures, etc.) to understand the chemistry topics within. I’m especially interested in students’ ability to interpret and evaluate the visual aids (a skill often referred to as representational competency).

2)     Another area I am interested in is the relationship between 2-year and 4-year chemistry programs. Over the past few years the number of students starting in 2-year chemistry programs and transferring into 4-year programs has been on a steady increase. It is important that these two communities work together to ensure the students on this path receive a quality chemistry education that prepares them for their future coursework and/or employment in chemical fields. 

Selected Publications

  • Bunce, D.M., J.R. VandenPlas, Neiles, K.Y, Flens, E.A.,. (2010) Development of a valid and reliable student achievement and process skills instrument. Journal of College Science Teaching. 35(5), 50-55.

  • Bunce, D.M., Flens, E.A., Neiles, K.Y. (2010) How Long Can Students Pay Attention in Class?  A Study of Student Attention Decline Using Clickers. Journal of Chemical Education. 87(12), 1438-1443.

  • Neiles, K.Y., Flens, E.A., Bunce, D.M., Ferguson, M. (2011) Development and refinement of a research study assessing student attention in General Chemistry. In D.M. Bunce (Eds.), Investigating Classroom Myths Through Research on Teaching and Learning. American Chemistry Society: Washington, D.C.