Chemistry Olympiad Mentors

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2014 USNCO mentors and program coordinator at Pikes Peak, CO. L to R: J. Sanders, A. Modic, C. Hernandez, M. Barranger-Mathys, M. Danahy
C. Hernandez

2014 USNCO Mentors

  • Melissa Barranger Mathys
    Ursuline College, OH , College mentor
  • Amiee Modic
    Katy High School, TX, High School mentor
  • Michael Danahy
    Bowdoin College, ME, College mentor
  • Jacob Sanders
    Harvard University, MA, Peer mentor

Mentor Duties and Responsibilities

Mentors play a vital role in preparing the nation’s brightest high school students to compete in the International Chemistry Olympiad. Each year, they guide the top 20 students from the U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad at a study camp through a series of practice problems to test student skills and ultimately select the U.S. team for the International competition.

Mentors are high school teachers and college faculty who serve a 3-year term and receive an honorarium. ACS will provide mentors with a handbook containing detailed guidelines on duties and responsibilities. Most expenses associated with the study camp and the International Chemistry Olympiad are paid by ACS.

Mentors might be required to attend a pre-camp meeting in Colorado Springs to develop practice tests for the June study camp, and might be asked to attend the annual U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad Subcommittee meeting.

A mentor’s first summer is spent at the study camp. For the second and third summer, mentors accompany competitors of the International Chemistry Olympiad, where they also serve as a member of the International Jury.

Pre-Study Camp

Mentors attend a pre-study camp to:

  • Develop practice problems, study guides and lesson plans in advance of the June study camp
  • Determine fair testing material to prepare students for the international competition
  • Determine daily schedules, faculty staffing and additional curriculum requirements for the study camp

Mentors use practice problems provided by the host country of the International Chemistry Olympiad to narrow the scope of the testing material. The practice set typically contains as many as 50 theoretical and 10 laboratory problems covering physical, inorganic, organic, analytical, industrial, environmental, and biochemistry.

The two-week Olympiad study camp is held in June at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO. In the spring mentors attend the meeting at the U.S. Air Force Academy to meet the faculty, determine curriculum, and daily schedules for the two-week camp.

Mentors arrive two days before the camp begins to test experiments, check procedures, write instructions, determine what solutions need to be made and what glassware must be procured.

During the camp, mentors and students become a family unit. All participants live in the same dorm facility, eat all meals together, and share bathrooms and telephones. Mentors are also expected to monitor and motivate the students to behave maturely and to achieve their potential during the study camp experience.

Past Mentors

2013 Mentors
  • Kelli Slunt
    University of Mary Washington, VA, Head mentor
  • Melissa Barranger Mathys
    Ursuline College, OH , College mentor
  • Amiee Modic
    Katy High School, TX, High School mentor
  • Jacob Sanders
    Harvard University, MA, Peer mentor
2012 Mentors
  • Kelli Slunt
    University of Mary Washington, VA, Head mentor
  • Melissa Barranger Mathys
    Ursuline College, OH , College mentor
  • Amiee Modic
    Katy High School, TX, High School mentor
  • Brian Lee
    Harvard University, MA, Peer mentor
2011 Mentors
  • Kristin Fletcher
    Chromatic Technologies, Inc., CO, Head mentor
  • Kelli Slunt
    University of Mary Washington, VA, 1st year College mentor
  • Steve Lantos
    Brookline High School, MA, High School mentor
  • Brian Lee
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MA, Peer mentor
2010 Mentors
  • Kimberly Gardner
    US Air Force Academy, CO, Head mentor
  • Kristin Fletcher
    US Air Force Academy, CO, 2nd year College mentor
  • Ara Kahyaoglu
    Bergenfield High School, NJ, 1st year High School mentor
  • Brian Lee
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MA, Peer mentor
2009 Mentors
  • John C. Kotz
    Professor Emeritus, College of Oneonta, NY, College mentor
  • Linda Wood
    Lowndes High School, GA, High School mentor
  • Kristin Fletcher
    US Air Force Academy, CO, Mentor
  • Andrew Freddo
    California Institute of Technology, CA, Peer mentor
2008 Mentors
  • Kara Pezzi
    Appleton East High School, WI, Head mentor
  • Will Lynch
    Armstrong Atlantic State University, GA, Second year mentor
  • Owen Priest
    Northwestern University, IL, First year mentor
  • J.L. Kiappes
    Rice University, TX, Peer mentor
2007 Mentors
  • John C. Kotz
    College of Oneonta, NY, Head mentor
  • Kara Pezzi
    Appleton East High School, WI, Second year mentor
  • Will Lynch
    Armstrong Atlantic State University, GA, First year mentor
  • J.L. Kiappes
    Rice University, TX, Peer mentor
2006 Mentors
  • Roxanna Allen
    St. John's School, TX, Head mentor
  • John C. Kotz
    College of Oneonta, NY, Second year mentor
  • Kara Pezzi
    Appleton East High School, WI, First year mentor
  • J.L. Kiappes
    Rice University, TX, Peer mentor
2005 Mentors
  • Nadine Szczepanski
    MacMurray College, IL, Head mentor
  • Roxanna Allen
    St. John's School, TX, Second year mentor
  • John C. Kotz
    College of Oneonta, NY, First year mentor
  • Wei Ho
    Princeton University, NJ, Peer mentor
2004 Mentors
  • Todd Trout
    Lancaster Country Day School, PA, Head mentor
  • Nadine Szczepanski
    MacMurray College, IL, Second year mentor
  • Roxanna Allen
    St. John's School, TX, First year mentor
2003 Mentors
  • Neal Sumerlin
    Lynchburg College, Lynchburg, VA, Head mentor
  • Todd Trout
    Lancaster Country Day School, Lancaster, PA, Second year mentor
  • Loretta Dorn
    Fort Hyas State University, KS, First year mentor
2002 Mentors
  • Jane Nagurney
    Scranton Preparatory School, PA, Head mentor
  • Neal Sumerlin
    Lynchburg College, VA, Second year mentor
  • Todd Trout
    Lancaster Country Day School, PA, First year mentor
2001 Mentors
  • Nadine Szczepanski
    MacMurray College, IL, Head mentor
  • Jane Nagurney
    Scranton Preparatory School, PA, Second year mentor
  • Neal Sumerlin
    Lynchburg College, VA, First year mentor