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Jason Whitehead

Associate Professor of Chemistry

Leadership Experience



WTCC Student Applied Benchmarking

Currently in small-scale piloting stages, at the suggestion of school administration, I've partnered with colleagues from Business and English to empower students to pursue student-led continuous improvement and personal ownership of their experience here at WTCC through Student Applied Benchmarking.  Planning is now underway on logistics, timing, and gaining necessary buy-in from all stakeholders from faculty to students.  



WTCC's 2015 Bellweather Award Nomination

Alongside senior college administration, I assisted in presenting the SAIL Process as a potential Bellweather Award recipient in Orlando, FL in front of the awards committee.  This gave me an opportunity to present WTCC as a pioneer in bottom-up governance.


Founding Member and Conference Facilitator

WTCC Council of Excellence and the WTGTS

Initiated by Bryan Ryan, colleagues (past and present Excellence award winners) have come together to pursue and promote investments in our faculty to spawn excellence and to serve as a creative think-tank.  As a result of this cross-college partnership, the Wake Tech Great Teacher seminar was recently funded (both externally and internally from a 10k gift from Whiting-Turner).  This partnership has also fostered interdisciplinary networking, future grant proposals partnering with MSE faculty (Lori Frear), and proposed PD workshops for our nursing faculty in educational tech. 


CHM 090 Course Team Lead

WTCC Dept. of Natural Sciences

Our group was charged with bringing new CHM 090 faculty on-board and developing SLOs.  Our meetings were efficient, professional, and productive- we finished our charge well ahead of schedule and are in the process of developing a course repository.


Lead the Way Tech Trainer and Developer

WTCC Professional Development

As a tech trainer, my team and I have developed and implemented new in-house tech PD opportunities and have had empowered faculty, a common theme throughout my projects. We've trained over 200 faculty on the use of iPads in education, and have gone on to offer advanced offerings in webconferencing, green screening, and improving audio quality in educational videos.


SAIL Co-chair

WTCC Competitive QEP Process

This experience involved formal training and in-the-trenches learning on the subjects of college-wide initiative planning (from proposal to implementation and everything in between), change management, efficient committee work delegation, and effective but amiable governance of a large committee.


Main Campus Director

WTCC Honors Program

As WTCC Honors Director, I've had a chance to coordinate over 100 partnerships between faculty and students, resulting in unleashed creativity, interdisciplinary partnerships, and honing student presentation skills.  Since taking on directorship, I've streamlined our records process, created formal co-advising roles to promote cross-college partnerships and faculty recognition, and have recently produced a new promotional video and designed a new site for our next push for growth.  We've also instituted biannual academic poster presentations to bring together faculty, staff, admin, and students from across the college.  Recent focus has been directed to making growth feasible and workload reasonable upon scaling to a larger audience through a partnership with IT.


Aug 2007May 2009

Further Grad. Coursework and Research

Duke University

Graduate coursework and research focused on materials and nanoscience with an emphasis on atomic forcemicroscopy.

Aug 2005May 2007

M.S. in Chemistry

University of North Carolina At Wilmington

The M.S. in Chemistry (GPA = 3.93) focused on research in Inorganic chemistry dealing primarily with calcium-binding proteins and ligand design, culminating in the development of a thesis and defense.

Aug 2001May 2005

B.S. in Chemistry with Biochemistry Option

University of North Carolina At Wilmington

The B.S. in Chemistry with a minor in mathematics was also attained with honors and a final GPA of 3.96, having fulfilled the requirements of the UNCW Honors Scholars Program.  The degree was also recieved with the Biochemistry option, having taken a series of biochemistry-focused classes and completing a biochemistry-oriented honors research project, culminating in the development of a thesis and defense. 

Work Experience in Academia

Spring 2017present

Associate Department Head, Physical Sciences

Wake Technical Community College

As a service-oriented leader, I've worked at the interface of faculty, staff, and student concerns and advocacy for the Physical Sciences Department (representing both geology and chemistry).  From a management standpoint, I deal every year in observations, scheduling, appraisals, staffing, hiring, and troubleshooting continuity plans for active and incoming courses.  From a leadership view, my role centers on connecting our faculty and students with the resources and individuals at our multi-campus college that they need to succeed.  I serve in front line approaches to enrollment management, as a developer of pedagogically useful PD, and as an open-door and voice for our students and faculty. 

Fall 2010Fall 2017

Associate Professor of Chemistry

Wake Technical Community College

As an educator at WTCC, I've taught CHM 090, 130, 151, and 152, and have stepped up for additonal courses (evenings) and adapted for online teaching  as requested.  I have served leadership positions ranging from campus-wide programs to retail store management.  Central projects in my first six years at WTCC  have included developing WTCC's first fully in-house MOOC, serving as main campus director for the WTCC Honors Program, leading a team as SAIL co-chair for our competitive bid process (SAIL) for our QEP, and offering extensive professional and tech development opportunities to our faculty through grant work as a Lead the Way educational tech trainer.  As a tech trainer, I have developed and implemented new in-house tech PD opportunities and have had empowered faculty, a common theme throughout my projects. 

Most recently as a founding member of the Wake Tech Council of Excellence (CoEx) we've piloted a well-received annual in-house 3 day conference on teaching and learning, the Wake Tech Great Teachers Seminar, which has already seen 10k in funding from external donors.

Aug 2007Aug 2009

Grad. Research Asst., Polymer and Nanoscience

Duke University

Responsibilities included pursuing answers to questions related to reversible polymers and mechanochemical systems through mainly atomic force microscopy-based inquiry in a research setting, alongside serving as technical support and as safety representative for the laboratory.

Jun 2007Jul 2007

General Chemistry Lecturer


This work entailed the development of course materials and tests, interaction with multiple lab sections, and an intensive teaching timeline that followed a summer course format.  The class was a section of approximately 80 students. 

Jun 2005Aug 2007

Grad. Research Asst., Inorganic Chemistry


Responsibilities included pursuing answers to questions related to ligand design, computational chemistry,  crystal growth and isolation, and UV-Vis determinations of binding constants in a research setting, alongside serving as technical support and as safety representative for the laboratory.

Jun 2005Aug 2007

Grad. Teaching Asst., Chemical Education


Work focused on forensic summer camp development, support of pilot courses employing educational tech, development of "Kitchen Chemistry" labs, and teaching a pair of 20 student labs per semester.

Jun 2002Aug 2002

Undergrad. Research Asst.


For a number of clients, both volunteer and paid conditions, I provided tutoring services while I was pursuing my B.S. and M.S. in chemistry at the University of North Carolina At Wilmington.

List of Publications and Theses

  1. Whitehead, Jason R.  Exploration of calcium selectivity in protein: analysis of Ca2+ -binding proteins employing crystal structure census, computatinal analysis, and glass electrode potentiometry.  (2005) Honors Undergraduate Thesis.

  2. Whitehead, Jason R.  Metal ion complexing and fluorescence properties of the novel hemicycle, dipyridoacridine, with computational studies on metal ion selectivity.  (2007) M.S. Thesis Document.

  3. Wagenknecht, Paul, S.; Hu, Chuanjiang; Ferguson, Denise; Nathan, Lawrence C.; Whitehead, Jason R.; Wright-Garcida, Kimberley; Vagnini, Michael T.  Effects of Steric Constraint on Chromium(III) Complexes of Tetraazamacrocycles, 2.  Comparison of the Chemistry and Photobehavior of the trans-Dichloro- and trans-Dicyano- Complexes of Cyclam, 1,4-C2-Cyclam, and 1,11-C3-Cyclam.  Inorganic Chemistry (2005) 44, 25, 9518-26.

  4. Clapp, Laura A.; Siddons, Chynthia J.; Whitehead, Jason R; VanDerveer, Donald G.; Rogers, Robin D.; Griffin, Scott T.; Jones, S. Bart; Hancock, Robert D.  Factors Controlling Metal-Ion Selectivity in the Binding Sites of Calcium-Binding Proteins.  The Metal-Binding Properties of Amide Donors.  A Crystallographic and Thermodynamic Study.  Inorganic Chemistry (2005) 44, 23, 8495-502.

  5. Hancock, Robert D.; Melton, Darren L.; Harrington, James M.; McDonald, F. Crisp; Gephart, Raymond T.; Boone, Lindsay L.; Jones, S. Bart; Whitehead, Jason R.; Cockrell, Gregory M.  Metal Ion Complexing Properties of Highly Preorganized Non-macrocyclic Ligands.  Coord. Chem. Rev., (2007)

  6. Serpe, Michael J.; Kersey, Farrell; Whitehead, Jason R.; Wilson, Scott; Clark, Robert; Craig, Stephen L.  A Simple and Practical Spreadsheet-Based Method to Extract Single-Molecule Dissociation Kinetics from Variable Loading-Rate Force Spectroscopy Data.  J. Phys. Chem. C., (2008) 112, 49, 19163–7.

  7. M. J. Serpe, J. R. Whitehead, M. Rivera, R. L. Clark, and S. L. Craig, Single- Molecule Force Spectroscopy Studies of DNA- Based Reversible Polymer Bridging: Surface Robustness and Homogeneity, Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochem. Eng. Aspects, vol 346 (2009), pp. 20- 27

  8. M. J. Serpe, J. R. Whitehead and S. L. Craig, Breaking Down the Supramolecular Ensemble: Single- Molecule Studies of the Concentration Dependence of Main- Chain Supramolecular Polymer Molecular Weight Distributions on Surfaces, Austr. J. Chem, vol 63 no. 4 (2010), pp. 624- 626

  9. J. Hamilton, J.R. Whitehead, N. J. Williams et al. Metal Ion Complexing Properties of Dipyridoacridine, a Highly Preorganiz ed Tridentate Homologue of 1,10- Phenanthroline. Inorganic Chemistry, Galley proof available. (2011)

Awards, Fellowships, and Scholarships

10k donation from Whiting Turner with matching internal funding, WTGTS (FA2016)

SAS Funding for Faculty Prof. Development in Green Screening in Ed. Videos (FA2016)

SAS Funding for Faculty Prof. Development in Improving Audio in Ed. Videos (FA2016)

SAS Funding for Faculty Prof. Development in Webcasting and Vodcasting (SP2016)

NC State-wide Excellence in Teaching Award Finalist (SP2016)

2016 National Institute of Staff and Organizational Development Excellence Award

2015 John & Suanne Roueche Excellence Award (FA2015)

Wake Tech College-wide Excellence in Teaching Award (SP2015)

Division Excellence in Teaching Award (SP2015)

Applied Benchmarking Grant funding the M.A.C.E. Project  (FA2014)

CBTE (Center for Biological and Tissue Engineering) Fellowship (2008-09)

GPNANO (Graduate Program  in Nanosicence) Fellowship (2007-08)

James B. Duke Fellowship (2007-11)

UNCW Chemistry Teaching Assistant of the Year Award (2006-07)

William S. Deloach Fellowship (2003-04, and 2004-05)

Donald R. Watson Scholarship (2004-05)

UNCW Bookstore Scholarship (2004-05)

Will S. Deloach Outstanding Young Organic Chemist Award (2003)

Wilmington Rotary Club Scholarship (2004-05)

UNCW Honors Program Scholarship (2001-02)

Onslow County STEP Program Scholarship (2001-02)

Professional Presentations and Talks

Professional Development and Workshops

Basics of the Honors Program.  SP2016 WTCC PD Day Presentation.

gnite Session:  Webcasting and Vodcasting in the Online Classroom.  SP2016 WTCC PD Presentation.

WTCC Lead the Way iPad Intro Workshop.  Offered ~3 times per year, FA2013-present.

WTCC Lead the Way Webcasting and Vodcasting Advanced Workshop.  Offered 2 times during the FA2015-SU2016 academic year.

WTCC Lead the Way Advanced iPad Video and Improved Audio Workshop, piloted in FA2016.

WTCC Lead the Way Green Screening in Educational Videos Workshop (planned to pilot for the SP2017 semester)

Presenting the SAIL Process as an effective bottom-up governance technique to unleash creativity and promote college-wide buy-in.  Bellweather nomination presentation alongside college senior administration in Orlando, FL during the SP2016 semester. 

Academic Presentations and Talks

Poster Presentation:  AFM-based Single-Molecule Characterization of Concentration, Time, and Gap Size Dependence of Surface-to-Surface Bridging Characteristics of a DNA-based Reversible Polymer.  Duke University Cellular Biological and Tissue Engineering (CBTE) Kewaunee Event Poster Presentation and Competition.

Poster Presentation:  DFT-based prediction of free energies of formation of complexes of ligands and metal ions in aqueous solution,  58th SERMACS and Exposition, Augusta, GA, Nov. 1st-4th 2006.

Poster Presentation:  Molecular modeling of Ca-selective binding sites and chemistry of a model complex of a Ca-selective binding site.  57th SERMACS and Exposition, Memphis, TN, Nov. 1st-4th, 2005.

Invited talk at which my research was presented by my research advisor at the National Meeting of the American Chemistry Society:  Hancock, Robert D.; Clapp, Laura A.; Tice, Kelly E.; Siddons, Chynthia J.; Jones, S. Bart; Whitehead, Jason R.  Roles of amide donors in selective binding of calcium in Ca-binding proteins.  Abstracts of Papers, 229th American Chemistry Society National Meeting, San DIego, CA, March 13-17, 2005.

Poster Presentation:  Molecular modeling of the binding sites of calcium-selective proteins, and chemistry of a model complex of a binding site., 56th SERMACS and Exposition, Raleigh, NC, Nov. 10th-14th 2004.