Senior Lecturer in Chemistry
Joined Connecticut College: 1984
B.S., Florida State University
M.S., University of Hawaii
• Protein biochemistry • Laboratory safety • Chemistry education
Vicki Fontneau teaches and coordinates general chemistry and biochemistry labs. She has developed and implemented experiments in both these areas.
In the biochemistry lab, she developed a semester-long series of research-like experiments in which students study the enzyme lactate dehydrogenase. In this series of labs, students isolate, purify and lyophilize the enzyme, then separate and investigate many aspects of the isozymes of this enzyme using electrophoresis, kinetics, molecular modeling, mechanistic studies and online information retrieval.
Fontneau is a faculty adviser for first-year students, coordinates the general chemistry labs and is an active member of the College's Laboratory Safety Committee. She is a member of the American Chemical Society.
She wrote the in-house laboratory manual for the Biochemistry 304 lab, and works with Professor Ching in publishing the in-house laboratory manuals for the general chemistry labs each year. She also worked with Professor Ching on the American Chemical Society presentation titled "Introduction of Advanced Instrumentation in General Chemistry" (1994) and with Professor Zimmer on a publication in Chemical Information & Computing Science regarding online chemical information retrieval.
She has been instrumental in improving laboratory safety throughout the chemistry department.
"When I first started teaching chemistry here, a good friend of mine laughed and said, 'They didn't know you'd do that for nothing, did they?' That's how I feel about teaching chemistry... like I'm getting paid to do one of the things I enjoy most doing... sharing my fascination with chemistry with my students." - Vicki Fontneau