Prof. Gillmore's Mission Statement
A native of the "rural" western part of NJ, the son of an accountant
and a K-12 art teacher turned stay-at-home mom, Jason Gillmore grew up
just outside Clinton, NJ. He graduated from Union Township elementary
school and North Hunterdon High School. The latter is across the street
from Exxon's corporate research facility, and Jason quickly realized
a passion for chemistry inspired by an excellent high school teacher
as well as chemistry's prevalence in his community.
After taking organic chemistry as a freshman at Virginia Tech (which
he chose for its strong programs in both chemistry and chemical engineering,
the latter of which ultimately required too little chemistry and too
much computer programming at the time), Jason became convinced that this
was his sub-discipline of choice. After a variety of undergraduate research
experiences, Jason became ensconced in the group of Prof. Jim Tanko,
a physical organic chemist that assuaged Jason's fear of "PChem" by
stating "geniuses all become physicists; those that come close are
physical chemists; meanwhile those mere mortals of us who think that
stuff is pretty cool in a mostly qualitative sense are physical organic
chemists." After completing his BS in 3.5 years, intending to pursue
a PhD in organic synthesis prior to returning to the pharmaceutical or
chemical industry of his native NJ, Gillmore stayed on for an MS in the
Tanko group at Virginia Tech investigating single electron transfer mechanisms
in Grignard reactions. It was during this time Gillmore was persuaded
to instead pursue his doctorate in Physical Organic chemistry with ambitions
of an academic career.
Thus Gillmore joined Prof. Joe Dinnocenzo's group at the University of
Rochester Department of Chemistry and Center for Photoinduced Charge
Transfer where he worked in collaboration with Prof. Tom Brown in the
Optics department as well as renowned photochemist Dr. Samir Farid and
polymer chemist Dr. Doug Robello at Kodak studying PICT-initiated cation
radical isomerizations in polymeric media for photoresponsive plastics
applications including volume holographic data storage and wave-guides.
An opportunity to mentor an undergraduate researcher during this time
convinced Gillmore of his desire for a faculty career at a research-intensive
undergraduate institution. Participation in Jack Kampmeier's fledgling
efforts at bringing Peer Led Team Learning to the organic curriculum
at Rochester led to Gillmore's own interests in this constructivist pedagogy.
After completing his PhD in 2003, Dr. Gillmore pursued a short NIH postdoctoral
traineeship in the labs of Prof. Ned Porter at Vanderbilt University
in the Department of Chemistry and Center in Molecular Toxicology where
he studied linoleate-derived free radical clocks for studying the kinetics
of lipid autoxidation.
Professor Gillmore has been at Hope College since Fall 2004 where he
teaches primarily in the organic course sequence and conducts research
with undergraduate collaborators in synthetic and mechanistic organic
photochemistry funded by the National Science Foundation, Research Corporation,
and the Dreyfus foundation. In the spring 2010 he was tenured and promoted
to Associate Professor.