Michelle Misselwitz brings a wealth of experience to the Chemistry Matters team.
Michelle is an analytical chemist with a Bachelor’s of Science (B.Sc.) in Chemistry from The Pennsylvania State University. She specializes in gas chromatography (GC), comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography (GCxGC), mass spectrometry (MS), method development, and technical writing.
Michelle has authored or co-authored 10 Technical Articles, 2 Journal Articles (Journal of Chromatography A, 1217 (2010) 633–641; Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, 396 (2010) 1311–1320) and numerous chromatography related blog posts. She has presented papers at several international conferences including: International Symposium on Halogenated Persistent Organic Pollutants (Dioxin 2010 – 2014), Brominated Flame Retardant Workshop (BFR 2011 – 2015), North American Chemical Residue Workshop (NACRW 2011 – 2014, formerly Florida Pesticide Residue Workshop), Multidimensional Chromatography Workshop (2012 – 2018), International Network of Environmental Forensices (INEF 2013, 2014), and US EPA Quality Assurance Conference (2011 – 2015).
Why Chemistry Matters?
I have a great interest in environmental analysis, source apportionment and environmental litegation cases. Chemistry Matters is a diverse company that allows me to expand my knowledge in these areas with the added benefit of flexible hours and working remotely.
Born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA, Michelle briefly lived in Golden, Colorado, before moving back to the family’s farm near Tyrone, PA. Michelle was always interested in science, even as a child. In high school, she had a great chemistry teacher and it was then that she realized she really enjoyed chemistry. Michelle liked the logic of chemical formulas, reactions, and nomenclature. While attending The Pennsylvania State University, she pursued chemistry because she knew that it had broad applicability for employment even if she didn’t know what her focus would be.
After graduating from Penn State University, Michelle worked as an Applications Chemist at Restek Corporation, a chromatography consumables company. She developed analytical methods for a broad range of environmental and food safety applications. These include: Fingerprinting crude oils using biomarkers with comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GCxGC-TOFMS) for environmental forensics, developing a QuEChERS sample preparation method for brominated flame retardants (BFRs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in milk and fish, and developing methods with QuEChERS and GCxGC-TOFMS for pesticide residue analysis in herbal tea, tobacco, dietary supplements, medical marijuana and a variety of fruits, vegetables and nuts. While at Restek, Michelle had wonderful mentors; she learned a lot about analytical chemistry, environmental chemistry, and chromatography. Michelle received Restek’s highest award, The President’s Award, for leading the development of a web based chromatogram archiving system that is the current basis for a multi-facet chromatogram search used on the current Restek website.
After 9 years with Restek, Michelle made the decision to leave in order to spend more time at home after the birth of her daughter. Consulting from home on a part-time basis has given her the ability to focus on her growing family while expanding her knowledge and skill-set in the environmental and analytical chemistry field. Michelle is passionate about the science and solving problems with analytical chemistry. She cares deeply about environmental contaminants and how it impacts the world around us.
Michelle currently reside in Bellefonte, PA with her husband and daughter. When not working, you could find her hiking up mountains, running half marathons, and spending quality time with her family.
What would be your advice to students starting in University looking to pursue a career like yours?
I have three pieces of advice I would give: 1) Work hard and pursue what interests you. 2) Never stop trying to learn something new, because you never know where the next opportunity lies. 3) Good presentation and communication skills are just as important as the science, practice both.
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