Mary Emenike, PhD


Photo of Mary EmenikeMary Emenike is an Assistant Professor of Professional Practice in the School of Arts and Sciences and the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology. She earned her Ph.D. in chemistry education research (CER) from Miami University in Oxford, OH, and her B.S. degree in chemistry from Nazareth College in Rochester, NY.

Mary serves as the Director of the TRIAD Coalition within SAS’s Office of STEM Education. She collaborates with faculty members to transform courses, evaluate course transformations, and assess student learning in chemistry and other STEM courses. Mary is part of the leadership team for Rutgers’ Active Learning Community and serves on SAS’s Assessment Committee.

Mary is PI on an NSF-funded project: Preparing STEM Leaders at Rutgers University (project website). Mary is a Regional Coordinator with the Learning Assistant Alliance and serves on the advisory board for Rutgers’ Learning Assistant Program at the Learning Centers. Mary has taught sections of the pedagogy course (Peer Instruction Education, required for all first-semester learning assistants) in the 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 fall semesters. She has also taught the Introduction to Chemistry Education course, available to chemistry Teaching Interns (TIs) or students pursing the Certificate in Chemistry Education (CCE) program.

Prior to Rutgers, Mary participated in the development and implementation of Process-Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL) activities in general chemistry recitations for students with weak math backgrounds. During a postdoctoral research experience at the American Chemical Society’s Examinations Institute, she performed logistic regression analysis of data from a national needs assessment of chemistry faculty members’ familiarity with, and use of, assessment terms and tools. As a project manager at California State University Fullerton's Catalyst Center for the Advancement of Research in Teaching and Learning Math and Science, she qualitatively investigated the Supplemental Instruction (SI) programs in biology, chemistry, mathematics, and physics through interviews with supervisors, course instructors, student leaders, and students in courses.

Email Mary

External Funding

  1. Jones, R. (PI), Cleaver, R. (co-PI), Rosenberg, J. (co-PI), Seshaiver, P. (co-PI), Hilker-Balkissoon, K. (co-PI), Friesner, R. (former co-PI), Schwebach, J. R. (former PI); (Emenike, M. E., External Evaluator): “Mason’s Rural and Diverse Student Scholars: A Scholarship Program to the College of Science.” NSF DEHR & DUE, NSF Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S-STEM) #1564989; 4/1/2016-3/31/2021
  2. Gao, R. (PI), Emenike, B. U. (co-PI), Quarless, D. (co-PI), Lloyd, J. (co-PI); (Emenike, M. E., External Evaluator): “Developing Undergraduate Scientists through Inquiry-Based Chemistry Laboratories.” NSF DEHR & DUE Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE) #1611887); 9/1/2016-8/31/2019
  3. Emenike, M. E. (PI), Blackwell, S. (co-PI), "Preparing STEM Leaders at Rutgers University." NSF DUE Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE) #1432394, 9/1/2014-8/31/2018, $318,127 (PSL Project webpage)

Internal Funding

  1. Emenike, M. E. (PI): “Database for Learning about Learning (DbL2): Investigating student performance in general chemistry courses.” Rutgers Research Council Grant, $2,000. 5/1/2018-4/30/2019.


  1. Blackwell, S.; Katzen, S.; Patel, N.; Sun, Y.; Emenike, M. (2017) Developing the Preparation in STEM Leadership Program For Undergraduate Academic Peer Leaders, The Learning Assistant Review, 22(1), 50-84 (link to ERIC entry:
  2. Holme, T.; Emenike, M. E.; Hughes, S.; Linenberger, K.; Luxford, C.; Raker, J. (2015) "Are content tests all the assessment we need?" in Orna, M. V. (Ed.)'s Sputnik to Smartphones: A Half-Century of Chemistry Education, ACS Symposium Series; American Chemical Society: Washington, DC. (pp. 257-275).
  3. Emenike, M. E.; Raker, J. R.; Holme, T. A. (2013) “Validating chemistry faculty members’ self-reported familiarity with assessment terminology,” Journal of Chemical Education, 90(9), 1130–1136.
  4. Raker, J.; Emenike, M. E.; Holme, T. A. (2013) “Using structural equation modeling to understand chemistry faculty familiarity of assessment terminology: Results from a national survey,” Journal of Chemical Education, 90(8), 981–987.
  5. Emenike, M. E.; Schroeder, J.; Murphy, K.; Holme, T. A. (2013) “Results from a national needs assessment survey: A snapshot of assessment efforts within chemistry faculty departments,” Journal of Chemical Education, 90(5), 561-567.
  6. Emenike, M. E.; Holme, T. A. (2012) “Classroom response systems have not “crossed the chasm”: Estimating numbers of chemistry faculty who use clickers,” Journal of Chemical Education, 89(4), 465-469.
  7. Emenike, M. E.; Bretz, S. L. (2012) “Hannah’s prior knowledge about chemicals: A case study of one 4th grade child,” School Science and Mathematics,112(2), 99-108.
  8. Emenike, M. E.; Danielson, N. D.; Bretz, S. L.(2011)  “Meaningful Learning in a First-Year Chemistry Laboratory Course: Differences across Classical, Discovery, and Instrumental Experiments,” Journal of College Science Teaching, 41(2), 89-97.
  9. Emenike, M. E.; Schroeder, J.; Murphy, K.; Holme, T. A. (2011) “A Snapshot of Chemistry Faculty Members’ Awareness of Departmental Assessment Efforts,” Assessment Update, 23(4), 1-2, 14-16.
  10. O'Donnell, M. E.; Musia, B. A.; Bretz, S. L.; Ca, D.; Danielson, N. D. (2009) “Discovering the Retention Mechanisms of Liquid Chromatography Using Solid Phase Extraction Cartridges,” Journal of Chemical Education, 86(1), 60-63.

Non Peer-Reviewed Publications (*indicates undergraduate student)

  1. Gephart, J.*; Emenike, M.; Bretz, S. L. (2011) “‘Greenwashing’ or Green Advertising? An analysis of print ads for food and household cleaning products from 1960-2008,” Journal for Activism in Science & Technology Education, 3(20), 19-26.

Professional Experiences & Service

  • Co-Organizer and Facilitator, 2018 International LA Conference, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO (November 3-5, 2018)
  • Co-Organizer and Facilitator, 2017 International LA Conference, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO (November 4-6, 2017)
  • Host and facilitator, Mid-Atlantic Regional LA Workshop, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ (April 7-8, 2017)
  • Co-Organizer and Facilitator, 2016 International LA Conference, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO (October 23-25, 2016)
  • Facilitator, North East Regional LA Workshop, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY (April 1-2, 2016)
  • Facilitator, 7th International LA Workshop, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO (October 4-6, 2015)
  • Facilitator, North East Regional LA Workshop, Boston University, Boston, MA (March 27-28, 2015)
  • Facilitator, Mid-Atlantic Regional LA Workshop, George Mason University, Front Royal, VA (February 21-22, 2015)
  • Facilitator, 6th International LA Workshop, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO (November 2 - 4, 2014)
  • L-Agent/Regional Coordinator, Learning Assistant Alliance (LAA) (2014-present)
    • Member, LAA Leadership Council, (2018-present)
    • Chair, Planning and Professional Development Committee, LAA (2017-2018)
  • Member, Louis Stokes Access for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Coordinating Council, Rutgers University, New Brunswick Campus (2012 – present)
  • Reviewer, book chapters for ACS Symposium Series (2014 – present)
  • Reviewer, Journal of Chemical Education (2012 – present)
  • Observer, First-Year Interest Group Seminars (FIGS), Rutgers University (2012 – present)
  • ACS Symposium Organizer, “Research on Children Learning Chemistry” with Jeffrey Raker and Stacey Lowery Bretz, 239th national American Chemical Society meeting, San Francisco, CA (3/25/2010)
  • Member, American Chemical Society (2004 – present)

Rutgers Courses

Rutgers Workshops

Faculty Workshops

  • Cooperative and Collaborative Learning

Peer Leader Training and Professional Development Workshops

  • Communicating Your Peer Leader Position to Potential Employers
  • Communicating Your Peer Leader Position in Cover Letters and Personal Statements
  • Exploring Peer Leader Verbal Behaviors
  • Categorization Tasks in Biology, Chemistry and Physics
  • Domains of Knowledge in STEM Fields

Selected Conference Presentations/Posters

  1. “Utilizing concept maps as assessment instruments for content and pedagogical knowledge development of Learning Assistants and academic peer leaders in STEM disciplines,” M. Emenike, N. Vega-Cotto, S. Katzen, A. Ciafullo, N. Onulak, N. Battacharya, S. Blackwell, 2018 International Learning Assistant Conference, Boulder, CO, 10/3/2018.
  2. “Investigating chemistry and STEM academic peer leaders' professional development related to content knowledge, pedagogical knowledge, and communication and leadership skills,” M. Emenike, S. Katzen, N. Patel, S. Blackwell, 252nd national American Chemical Society (ACS) meeting, Philadelphia, PA, 8/22/2016
  3. "Rutgers’ Learning Assistant Program: Learning Center and Faculty Partnerships," M. Emenike, S. Katzen, S. Blackwell, Annual NJ/PA College Reading and Learning Association (CRLA) Spring 2016 Conference, Newtown, PA, 3/18/2016
  4. "Rutgers’ Learning Assistant Program: Learning Center and Faculty Partnerships," M. Emenike, S. Katzen, S. Blackwell, Annual NJ/PA CRLA Spring 2016 Conference, Newtown, PA, 3/18/2016
  5. "Measuring Peer Leaders’ Beliefs about Teaching and Learning," S. Katzen, Y. Sun, N. Patel, M. Emenike, S. Blackwell, Annual NJ/PA CRLA Spring 2016 Conference, Newtown, PA, 3/18/2016
  6. "Peer Leadership Positions’ Effects on Leadership and Communication Practices: Preliminary Results,” S. Blackwell, S. Katzen, N. Patel, Y. Sun, M. Emenike, Annual NJ/PA CRLA Spring 2016 Conference, Newtown, PA, 3/18/2016
  7. "Lessons from Three Semesters of a Physics for Humanities Course," D. Iyer, M. Emenike, 2016 winter American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT), New Orleans, LA, 1/11/2016 (view abstract #PST1B06, pg 63)
  8. “Investigating how the components of peer leadership programs influence the development of academic peer leaders' content and pedagogical knowledge and leadership and communication skills,” M. Emenike, S. Blackwell, S. Katzen, 7th International Learning Assistant Workshop, Boulder, CO, 10/4/2015 (view poster)
  9. "LA Program Expansion at Rutgers (2014-2015): astronomy, philosophy, chemical engineering courses, and a course transformation in a physics course for engineers," M. Emenike, 6th International LA Workshop, Boulder, CO, 11/2/2014 (view poster)
  10. “Learning Outcomes in a ‘Physics for Humanities Course’,” D. Iyer, M. Emenike, 2014 summer AAPT, Minneapolis, MN, 7/29/2014 (view abstract #DG04, pg 97)
  11. “Learning Outcomes in an Experimental Course,” D. Iyer, M. Emenike, S. Knapen, M. Manhart, A. Bhatia, 2013 summer AAPT meeting, Portland, OR, 7/17/2013 (view abstract #GI07, pg 134)
  12. “Validity and application of a pre/post survey assessing children's attitudes and motivation at informal chemistry outreach events,” C. Bauer, M. Emenike, J. Reed, J. Raker, T. Holme, 244th national ACS meeting, Philadelphia, PA, 8/19/2012
  13. “Chemistry Concepts in Elementary and Middle School Science,” M. E. Emenike, S. Li, S. L. Bretz, Invited, CSU/ISI Collaborative Symposium to Promote Science Education, California State University, Fullerton, CA, 2/28/2012 (
  14. “Measuring student learning in analytical chemistry: content map development and exam item complexity analysis,” M. E. Emenike, L. Kendhammer, C. F. Bauer, K. Murphy, T. A. Holme, 42nd regional ACS meeting: Central Region, Indianapolis, IN, 6/8/2011
  15. “Exploring the connections between children's ideas about the word ‘chemical’ and their understanding of chemical and physical change,” M. O’Donnell, S. L. Bretz, 239th national ACS meeting, San Francisco, CA, 3/25/2010
  16. “Cognitive and affective learning in general chemistry: The case of POGIL recitations for weaker math students,” A. R. Brandriet, K. J. Linenberger, M. O'Donnell, S. L. Bretz, 239th national ACS meeting, San Francisco, CA, 3/24/2010
  17. “Improving retention in general chemistry: POGIL recitations for weaker math students,” S. L. Bretz and M. O’Donnell, 237th national ACS meeting, Salt Lake City, UT, 3/24/2009

Undergraduate Research Students

  • Alexis Cirino (2018 - present)
  • Gianna Schwarz (2018 - present)
  • Laila Brahmia (2018 - present)
  • Misha Faerovitch (spring 2017 - summer 2018)
  • Mollie Bradley (summer 2018)
  • Hamzah Almadani (summer 2018)
  • Samyak Gupta (spring/summer 2018)
  • Shiv Rattan (spring 2018)
  • Ashley Wolfork (fall 2015)