Who We Are
Tony Jacob || Allice Dang || Kelly Jetzer
Jose Laboy || Agnes Lee || Shea Ramey
Tracey Reitz || David Toland || Yashira Zavala
All staff members can be contacted at
Tony Jacob, Director
Tony has been with the Chemistry Learning Center since 1990 and is currently
the Director. Tony earned a BS in Chemistry from Harvey
Mudd College in 1984 and PhD in Inorganic Chemistry in 1990 from
UW-Madison. Tony has had a wide range of teaching experiences: He
ran the Chemistry Peer Mentor Tutor Program, worked with the
National Institute for Science Education's (NISE) College Level
One Team, he was the Chemistry Coordinator for the Summer
Enrichment Program for 7th-9th grade minority students for 10 years, lectured in
the UW-Madison Chemistry Department and at Beloit College. He worked as a science demonstrator doing hands-on activities in the K-12 system, has done K-8
in-service teacher workshops, and was a Scientist in Resident in 1992
with the Stoughton School District. He was the Chemistry Consultant for 6 years advising incoming students during the SOAR program.
Tony was inducted into the UW-Madison's
Teaching Academy in 1996, and honored in 1999 with
the Student Personnel Association's (SPA) Norman Bassett Award for
Outstanding Student Services. In 2002, he received the Letters & Science
Academic Staff Mid-Career Acheivement Award and in 2017 the Judith S. Craig Distinguished Service Award. He has humbly received student recognition with a University Housing Honored Instructor Recognition Award (2011), an Academic Advancement Program Certificate of Appreciation (AAP Scholar, 2013), the
Posse Lifelong Gratitude Award (Posse Scholar, 2014), the
Center for Educational Opportunities Dr. Brenda Pfaehler Award of Excellence (CeO Scholar, 2016), and the First Wave Excellence Award (First Wave Scholars, 2017).
He is the proud father of two fantastic kids, Shauna and Quinn. In his "leisure" time, he likes to bike and socialize on the
Terrace. He can almost swim ("drowns slower"), and once tried meditation, Tai Chi, pottery, Tango dance, handgun target practice, and golf lessons (he wasn't good at any of them). He also was an avid photographer in his youth and hopes to get back into it.
Allice earned her Bachelor's degree in Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley and her Master's degree in Chemistry from UW-Madison. During her graduate career, she was TA for both General Chemistry as well as Organic Chemistry Lab. Allice enjoys various activities including running, rock climbing and weight training as well as yarn crafts such as knitting and crocheting.
Kelly Jetzer has degrees in Chemistry and Secondary Education from UW-Stevens Point. Before coming to
Madison, she taught high school chemistry and physics. She first worked as a
Faculty Assistant in the UW General Chemistry Department in 1993. She has worked
for the Institute of Chemical
Education and JCE:
Software, helping to create videos of chemical demonstrations and lab
techniques. She won an Outstanding Chemistry Teaching Award in 1997, and two
Honored Instructors Awards in 2009.
Kelly and her husband, Bill, have three children. As half of the acoustic duo
Crystal River, she sings at coffeehouses in the Madison area. Kelly's other
hobbies include hiking, running, and volunteering at her kids' schools.
Jose did his undergraduate at the University of Puerto Rico-Cayey. He was twice recipient of the Minority Bio-Research Support Program award, and taught at High School level for more than 15 years. During that period he received the
Space Shuttle Involvement Program award, and the District and Regional Awards
for teaching. He then decided to pursue graduate work in pharmacology at UW-Madison earning a MS in Pharmacology. After that, he pursued research in toxicology for a couple of years.
He eventually wanted to return to the classroom and teach once again. He started teaching chemistry as a Faculty Assistant in the Department of Chemistry at UW-Madison in fall, 2000. During spring, 2002 he received an Excellence in Teaching award.
When Jose isn't teaching he likes to cook Caribbean and Catalan food (yum!).
This includes Cuban, Puerto Rican, and Paella Valenciana. He also has some special interest using needle-point to generate geometrical forms and patterns. He has designed some doily tatted pentagrams, heptagonal bobbing lace patterns, and oval Sun's of Maracaibo patterns to name a few.
A transplant from New York City, I came to Madison for grad school and
established my roots, obtaining a Ph.D. in chemistry and raising 2 kids. I have
worked and taught in a number of places: UW-Whitewater, Edgewood
Products Laboratory, and the Journal of Chemical Education. But I must say that teaching has been
most rewarding because of the students. In my spare time, I enjoy running,
spicy food (I think that's a hobby, right?), reading, and volunteer travel. My
trips have taken me to a Blackfeet Indian reservation in Montana, construction
an adobe house in Taos, New Mexico, and building ICF (insulated concrete form) houses in Grey-Bruce, Canada.
is when we step outside of our boxes that we learn more about ourselves and the
amazing good we are able to accomplish. Learning elevates, but learning while
helping others takes us beyond.
Shea was hired at the Chemistry Learning Center in August 2002. She earned her
Bachelor's degree from Case
Western Reserve University in Cleveland and her Master's degree from UW-
Madison. Since 1994, Shea has won many teaching awards in recognition of her work
with undergraduate students, including The College of Letters and Science Early
Career Award in 2007. She is the proud aunt of 2 nieces and 4 nephews. In the
summertime, Shea loves to grow her own organic veggies, kayak and learn new
things. Recent endeavors include Chinese brush painting, Reiki, kung fu, African
drum crafting, sign language, yoga and tai chi. She has also completed the
extreme P90X workout program and encourages others to do the same!
Tracey earned her bachelor's degree in Chemistry at UW-Stevens Point in 2011 and her Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry at UW-Madison in 2015. In addition to teaching in the Chemistry Learning Center, she has also taught as a Teaching Assistant and an instructor with the PEOPLE program. Outside of the classroom, you can find Tracey enjoying the outdoors (any season!), playing sports, traveling, cooking, and eating delicious food.
She received the WISL (Wisconsin Initiative for Science Literacy) Award in 2015 titled "Advances in 2D IR Spectroscopy and Applications to Sensitized Thin Films"
I came to Madison for graduate work in geography and ended up putting down roots
in town. Prior to Madison, I received a bachelors degree in chemistry from Oberlin College and masters degrees
in chemistry and in natural resources from the University of Michigan. I have also done graduate work in
biochemistry at Tufts
University in Boston.
My teaching career started as a high school chemistry instructor in Tennessee and
I've also taught chemistry and physics at high schools in Maryland and Washington
D.C. I served as the sole physical science instructor at Otero Junior College in La Junta,
Colorado, teaching chemistry, astronomy and environmental science and taught
chemistry at Madison Area
Technical College. My career as a teaching assistant is also varied, having
taught general and organic chemistry, forestry, biology, physical geography and
statistics. I lectured in physical geography here at UW and worked with the UW
My other interest include ultimate frisbee which I play in all seasons and any
activity that gets me into the woods or on the water. On an occasional fall
weekend, you might catch me watching football while knitting. In a job interview,
I taught Chelsea Clinton about Gibbs free energy.
Yashira earned her bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering (ChemE) at the University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez. She then decided to move up north to Madison, WI to pursue a doctorate degree in ChemE at UW-Madison. She has taught as a Teaching Assistant in Chemical Engineering as well as Chemistry courses. Even though she came to Madison just for graduate school, she found everything that she needed to call this place "Home" and plans to stay for a long time. Outside of teaching she enjoys photography, interior design, cooking, traveling and spending time with her family.