About the Authors - 8th Edition

Back Row (L-R): Michael Cann, Michael Mury Front Row (L-R) Cathy Middlecamp, Katie Purvis-Roberts, Jamie Ellis, Karen Anderson, Anne Bentley, Jennifer Tripp (Lab Manual Author)

Catherine Middlecamp, Editor-in-Chief

Cathy Middlecamp is a professor in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In addition, she is an affiliate of the Chemistry Department. Her scholarship lies at the intersection of science, people, and the planet.   For her teaching and research, she has received awards at the local, state, and national levels.

Middlecamp has served on the writing team of Chemistry in Context since 1996, having been the lead author on over half of its chapters and the editor-in-chief for the 7th and 8th editions. 

A member of the American Chemical Society for 40 years, Middlecamp served as program chair of the Division of Chemical Education from 2005 to 2007 and is currently a member of the CHED Program Committee and an associate member of CEI, the Committee on Environmental Improvement. The ACS has recognized Middlecamp for her commitment to education and the chemical profession:

Outside of her ACS and university activities, Middlecamp was named Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the Association for Women in Science (AWIS). She also has been a senior associate for the Science Education for New Civic Engagements and Responsibilities Project (SENCER) since it began in 2000.

Middlecamp did her undergraduate studies at Cornell University, graduating Phi Beta Kappa, and was awarded a Danforth Fellowship to earn her doctorate degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1976.


Michael Mury

Michael Mury is currently the program manager for ACS textbooks at the American Chemical Society in Washington, DC. In this role he serves as managing editor for both ACS textbooks, Chemistry in Context, which is designed for non-science major students and Chemistry in the Community, designed for college-bound high school students. He also organizes and leads professional development opportunities for instructors of both textbooks.

Mury joined the Chemistry in Context project during the 7th edition. For the 8th edition, he assisted with the Climate Change, Nuclear, and Food units and assisted with the production phase of the text. He has also served as the liaison between the author team and the publisher, McGraw-Hill.

Mury earned Bachelor’s degrees in Biology and Chemistry from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. He studied computational chemistry at Clemson University where he earned his Ph.D. Upon completion of his doctorate, Mury joined Teach for America and taught at Western High School in Baltimore, MD and then taught at KIPP: Gaston College Preparatory in Gaston, NC before moving to his current position at the American Chemical Society.

Education is Mury’s passion and he works hard to make sure students received the best science education possible. In his spare time, he enjoys exploring our nation’s capital, trying new restaurants, working out, and watching movies.


Karen Anderson

Karen Anderson is an instructor and former chemistry department chair at Madison College, a 2-year technical college in Madison, WI. Much of Anderson’s 25 years career has been in teaching associate degree or liberal arts transfer students. She has taught a variety of courses from microbiology and chemistry, and helped to develop and teach the first environmental issues course at the college.  Her awards include the 2006 NISOD Excellence Award in Teaching and the 2000 Madison College’s Distinguished Teaching Award.

Anderson joined the writing team for the 7th edition and also brings experience leading faculty development workshops to the project.  She continues to teach a liberal arts chemistry course at Madison College using Chemistry in Context and has taught the first hybrid chemistry course in her department.

Nationally, Anderson has served on the steering committee of POGIL and is a key contributor in the development of rubrics used to guide authors writing POGIL activities.  She has written POGIL activities for her own courses.   Currently, as a co-PI on a NSF-funded project on Climate Change Concepts, she is writing and classroom testing POGIL activities that blend climate-change curriculum with general chemistry topics.

Originally from the Pacific Northwest, Anderson attended the University of Puget Sound, earning a BS in biology in 1981 and a MS in microbiology from Montana State University in 1984.

She enjoys gardening, aikido, biking, and reading.


Anne Bentley

Anne Bentley is an associate professor of chemistry at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, OR, where she teaches general, inorganic, nanomaterials, and environmental chemistry. In the research lab, she and her students develop thin film metal oxide materials to be used in energy storage. Her research is supported by grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF), Dreyfus Foundation, Murdock Charitable Trust, and W. M. Keck Foundation.

Bentley has served on the writing team since the 7th edition and also brings experience teaching Chemistry in Context to the project.  She is the lead author on the acid rain chapter and will continue as an author team member for the 9th edition.

Bentley earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Oberlin College and then taught high school chemistry and physics in rural Namibia as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer. She earned a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she investigated the synthesis and alignment of alloy nanowires formed via electrodeposition.

Bentley carried out postdoctoral research at Purdue University as an NSF Discovery Corps fellow studying the use of cyanobacteria to enhance the photogeneration of hydrogen and developing curricular materials for the Center for Authentic Science Practice in Education.


Michael Cann

Michael Cann is Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Co-Director of Environmental Science at the University of Scranton. His research interests include microwave-assisted reactions in ionic liquids and conversion of by-products from biodiesel production into value-added products. At Scranton, he enjoys teaching environmental chemistry, chemistry for non-science majors, and organic chemistry for graduate and undergraduate courses.

Since 1995, much of Cann’s professional life has been permeated with green chemistry and the broader issues of sustainability. In 1996, he began blending green chemistry into his courses using the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards. In 2000, Cann led a team of six faculty members in a project to infuse green chemistry across the curriculum at Scranton. To include sustainability across the entire Scranton curriculum, he initiated and continues to co-facilitate a workshop on sustainability.

Cann’s work in green chemistry and sustainability has been recognized with several awards, including the Pennsylvania Governor Award for Environmental Excellence and the ACS Committee on Environmental Improvement (CEI) Award for Incorporating Sustainability into Chemical Education. He has also received teaching awards from Scranton and recognized as a Distinguished Professor.

In addition to Chemistry in Context, Cann is the co-author of three books: Environmental Chemistry, Real-World Cases in Green Chemistry (one of the first educational materials in green chemistry), and Real-World Cases in Green Chemistry, Volume II. He is also the book series editor for Sustainability: Contributions through Science and Technology and an editor for the journal Green Processing and Synthesis.  

Originally from the Saratoga region of upstate New York, Cann attended Marist College where he earned his BA in chemistry in 1969. He received his masters and Ph.D. degrees in organic chemistry in 1972 and 1973, from Stony Brook University.  

Cann enjoys the outdoors, especially kayaking, hiking, and cross-country skiing.


Jamie Ellis

Jamie Ellis is an Assistant Professor in the Chemistry Department at Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York. She currently teaches general chemistry and biochemistry at Ithaca College. In the research lab, Ellis and her students explore the dynamics and interactions of both disordered and folded proteins. She is particularly interested in the mechanisms of transcription regulation in both food and fuel crops.

Ellis has served on the writing team since the 7th edition and also brings experience teaching Chemistry in Context to the project.  She is the lead author on Chapter 12, Genetic Engineering and the Molecules of Life.  For McGraw-Hill, Ellis also designed sets of interactive questions to accompany the text.

In her academic career, Ellis also enjoyed a variety of opportunities to teach chemistry—from guest lectures for kindergarteners to discussions of graduate-level biophysical chemistry. She especially enjoyed lecturing a single-semester chemistry course for liberal arts students from Chemistry in Context. She loves the challenge of teaching diverse topics to a diverse audience. As a post-doctorate, she remains active in chemistry outreach in order to continue prodding people into questioning the world around them.

Ellis earned her bachelor’s degree at the University of California at Berkeley, where she focused on organic chemistry with some hints of molecular biology. During her graduate work at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, she continued in organic chemistry, combined with physical chemistry and molecular biology, to examine more fundamental, biological questions, particularly the behavior of nascent proteins. To further explore molecular biology, she completed an NIH postdoctoral fellowship at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California.


Katie Purvis-Roberts

Katie Purvis-Roberts is an Associate Professor of Chemistry and Environmental Science at the W.M. Keck Science Department of Claremont McKenna, Pitzer, and Scripps Colleges.  She is also the Associate Dean of Faculty at Pitzer College.  Her research interests include studying the chemical mechanism behind particulate matter air pollution formation and the environmental impact of nuclear testing in Kazakhstan.  Her research is supported by the National Science Foundation and the Dreyfus Foundation.

Purvis-Roberts joined the author team for the 8th edition and is continuing as an author for the 9th edition.  In addition to Chemistry in Context, Purvis-Roberts is co-author of an environmental chemistry book for majors Chemistry of the Environment.  She enjoys teaching chemistry for non-majors, introductory chemistry, environmental chemistry, and advanced laboratory in chemistry. 

Purvis-Roberts earned her B.S. in chemistry from Westmont College and her Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Princeton University.  She also earned a certificate in Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy from the Woodrow Wilson School for Public and International Affairs at Princeton, which transitioned her research from surface chemistry interactions to an atmospheric pollution focus.  From there she did her postdoctoral research at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, CO.

When not in the classroom, Purvis-Roberts enjoys spending time with her family and being in the outdoors.