Professor of Chemistry
At North Park since: 2007
Whether he’s lecturing in a classroom, leading students through experiments in the lab, or helping the Chemistry Club demonstrate chemical reactions for local elementary school children, Dr. Jonathan Rienstra-Kiracofe is excited to be a chemist. And he wants everyone in his classes to have just as much fun as he does, believing that students learn better when they like what they’re studying.
“Dr. R-K,” as he’s known to his students, is dedicated to his field and the students he teaches. “At North Park, I feel my talents and skills are fully utilized, allowing me to make a positive difference in my students’ lives,” he says. Labs are kept to small numbers of students so he can provide personal attention, get to know his students and help them discover new things about the created world. “I try to emphasize that chemistry is the study of God’s created world and, as humans, we have a moral obligation to care for creation.”
His interests in environmental chemistry and green technology also lead to class experiments like testing the water quality of the river running through North Park’s campus and course topics like Ethics in a Nuclear Age.”
For Dr. R-K, North Park’s commitment to diversity helps to create an ideal environment for his discipline. “I believe the study of chemistry is enhanced when students from a variety of backgrounds, cultures, and experiences work together to explore and understand the natural world. Chemistry students learn better in an environment that is rich with diverse experiences.”
Dr. Rienstra-Kiracofe is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Scientific Affiliation, American Chemical Society, Illinois Solar Energy Association, American Solar Energy Society, and Midwest Association of Chemistry Teachers in Liberal Arts Colleges.
- PhD, Computational Chemistry, University of Georgia
- BS, Chemistry, Calvin College
Recent Publications and Presentations
- Reviewer, Journal of Chemical Education.
- Presenter, Chicago Center for Green Technology, "Improving Energy Efficiency and Reducing Your Carbon Footprint."
- Presenter, ACCA Chemistry Symposium, "An Interactive, Smart General Chemistry Laboratory."