Andrea E. Martin

Andrea E. Martin, PhD

  • Associate Professor
Media Expertise:
  • Science & Environment
  • Education

Affiliated Programs


  • PhD, Inorganic Chemistry (1981)
    University of Delaware (DE)
  • BS, Chemistry (1975)
    Ursinus College (PA)

About Me

After receiving my PhD in Inorganic Chemistry from the University of Delaware in 1981, I received a postdoctoral fellowship from NIH to work in Bioinorganic Chemistry at Columbia University.  I then joined the Hercules Research Center in Wilmington, DE, where I did research in polymerization catalysis and obtained 5 US patents.  During my 20-year industrial career, I worked in basic and applied research, technical service, patent support and sales.  I enjoyed my work, but felt something was missing, so I moved into academia, where I found my passion for teaching.  Before coming to Widener in 2002, I taught at the University of Delaware and Delaware Technical Community College. 

At Widener, I have taught most of the general chemistry courses, basic and advanced inorganic chemistry, and introduction to environmental science.  I am the faculty advisor for the Gamma Omega chapter of the Alpha Chi Sigma professional chemistry fraternity and was honored to be named their national Advisor of the Year in 2014.  I have received several teaching awards, including the College of Arts & Sciences Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching.  In addition to my ongoing laboratory research, I am interested in the scholarship of teaching and learning, and have been a national workshop leader for the Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL) group.  I was chair of the chemistry department from 2018 through 2020. 

In my spare time, you can find me in the woods with binoculars and a camera, following my passion for birding and photography.  I am both a dog and a cat person – I currently have a rescue greyhound and a rescue cat.  For many years, I bred Weimaraners and competed in all aspects of dog shows and obedience trials.  My dogs were certified therapy dogs and we enjoyed visiting nursing homes and libraries.   

Research Interests

I currently have multiple research projects ongoing with undergraduates.  Most recently, I have begun a collaboration with Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research in Newark, DE, to test detergents for cleaning wildlife affected by oil spills.  My students are carrying out subjective and quantitative testing to help Tri-State identify the most effective detergents and cleaning conditions.  We have received a grant from the Oiled Wildlife Care Network to help support this work.  In a separate project, we are looking synthesis and properties of poly(lactide), a biodegradable polymer derived from renewable resources.  A third project extends my graduate work on small molecule models for enzymes and other metalloproteins that have two metal ions in the active site.   My students have synthesized and characterized several new metal complexes with copper, nickel and silver.  We are now looking to extend this work to additional metals and to use the complexes to carry out chemical transformations. 

Media Expertise

  • chemistry education
  • inorganic chemistry
  • science and nature


  • Bastin, L.& Martin, A. E. (2019). Promoting political and civic engagement in a nonmajor sustainable chemistry course, in A. P. Dicks and L. Bastin, (Eds.), Integrating Green and Sustainable Chemistry Principles into Education, Elsevier, 141-162. 
  • McHenry, N., Martin, A., Castaldo, A., & Ziegenfuss, D. (2009). Learning assistants program: Faculty development for conceptual change. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education22, 258–268.
  • Van Bramer, S.E., and Martin, A.E. (2008). Implementing POGIL in a multiple section laboratory cause. In R.S. Moog & J.N. Spencer (Eds.), ACS Symposium Series, 994, 200–212.

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

American Chemical Society (ACS)

American Chemical Society (Chair, Delaware Section, 2012) 

Alpha Chi Sigma National Professional Chemistry Fraternity 


  • College of Arts & Sciences Nominee for Fitz Dixon Innovation in Teaching Award (2011)
  • Alpha Chi Sigma Ronald T. Pflaum Award for Outstanding Chapter Advisor (2012–2014)
  • College of Arts & Sciences Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching (2017)
  • College of Arts & Sciences nominee for Fitz Dixon Innovation in Teaching Award (2011) 
  • Alpha Chi Sigma Ronald T. Pflaum Award for Outstanding Chapter Advisor (2014) 



  • Chemistry Professor Honored with Teaching Innovation Award

    Associate Professor of Chemistry Andrea Martin has been recognized with the Fitz Dixon Innovation in Teaching Award, announced at the 2022 faculty awards program. 

    The award recognizes faculty members, either individually or in teams, who have designed, implemented, and assessed an innovative or experimental teaching and learning project. 

    Martin has a deep commitment to innovative, inclusive, and continuously renewed teaching of undergraduate chemistry.  This includes in-class structured group activities and frequent low-stakes assignments that are designed to build content knowledge and process skills simultaneously. She uses “Math Minute” videos to address deficiencies in the algebra needed for success in chemistry, and a flipped classroom model that involves making lecture material online and using the class period for problem solving. Martin uses applied process-oriented guided inquiry learning to include all students in active-learning group problem-solving, where students take turns with different roles of manager, recorder, reporter, and reflector – to explore chemistry problems as a team. 

    Martin helped create Widener’s Peer Learning Assistant Program to support class goals and offer feedback on class activities. These exemplary, innovative, and impactful multi-faceted teaching projects advance the Widener mission to provide active and inclusive learning experiences for all students.

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  • Chemistry Associate Professor Awarded $13,000 Grant for Oil Spill Research

    Associate Professor of Chemistry Andrea Martin was awarded a $13,000 grant from the Oiled Wildlife Care Network to continue her research with undergraduate students. Dr. Martin and her students, in partnership with Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research, have been testing detergents to determine which is most effective for cleaning oil from the feathers of birds.

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