Clarissa Sorensen-Unruh


  • PhD. Organization, Information, and Learning Sciences (Anticipated Graduation: May 2021), University of New Mexico (UNM), Albuquerque, NM.
  • M.S. Statistics (Anticipated Graduation: Fall 2019), University of New Mexico (UNM), Albuquerque, NM.
  • M.S. Chemistry (Major: Organic, May 2000), University of New Mexico (UNM), Albuquerque, NM.
  • B.S. Biochemistry (Minor: History, May 1998), Trinity University, San Antonio, TX.

Professional Positions

FT Chemistry Instructor             CNM Community College                             8/02-present

Independent Contractor             Pearson, McGraw-Hill, etc.                           8/03-8/14

Adjunct Lecturer II                      UNM Chemistry and Chemical Biology     1/12-5/14

Chair, Chemistry                          CNM Community College                              8/07-12/09

Senior Academic Advisor           UNM, School of Engineering                        11/01-4/02

HR Project Manager                    Intel Corp.                                                         1/01-11/01

Curriculum Writer, Web Architect  UNM, NASA Pursue Project                   5/99-3/00

Teaching Activities

  • (CNM) Taught approximately 300 students every Fall/Spring semester (the equivalent of six lecture courses each term) as well as approximately 150-200 students every Summer semester (the equivalent of three lecture or lab courses) in both face-to-face and online environments. Traditional, hybrid, and distance learning classes have been taught extensively.
  • Engaged in Social Media as both outreach and professional development (Facebook (private), LinkedIn (public), Instagram (public; handle @rissachem), WordPress (, and Twitter (public; handle: @RissaChem))
  • Prepared video lectures (via Mediasite and via CNM Glass (YouTube Channel: and audio podcasts. (2007-present)
  • (CNM and UNM) Developed online resources, including master course shells, student discussion environments, assessments (such as timed chapter quizzes), assignments (take home quizzes and exams), comprehensive learning modules, etc. within BlackBoard (CE 8.0), Bb Learn (including Collaborate), Wimba, and online homework (such as MasteringChemistry and Sapling Learning) classroom environments.
  • (CNM) Met weekly with Supplemental Instructor (SI) to communicate issues and align expectations.
  • (UNM) Taught approximately 300-370 students in one face-to-face lecture per fall and spring semester using an active learning environment. Clickers, online homework, classroom exercises with extensive group work were employed with the aide of peer learning facilitators (PLFs), Supplemental instructors (SIs), and graduate and undergraduate teaching assistants (TAs).
  • (UNM) Met weekly with and mentored/advised extensively my learning team, including PLFs, SIs, and TAs (Teaching Assistants).


  • Digital Pedagogy Lab Fellow, DPL. (2019)
  • Board Associate, Board of Publication, Division of Chemical Education, ACS. (2018-present)
  • ACS (American Chemical Society) National Travel Award, 251st ACS National Meeting & Exposition in Spring 2016, San Diego, CA. (2015)
  • WIN (Women In Non-Traditional Careers) Employee Advocate Award, CNM Community College, Albuquerque, NM. (2015)
  • MSE Jon Gill Bentley Faculty Excellence Award, CNM Community College, Albuquerque, NM. (2015)
  • Graduate Fellowship, Pursue Project (NASA), University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM. (1999–2000)
  • Presidential Scholar, Trinity University, San Antonio, TX. (1994-1998)

Professional Associations/Memberships

External Grants and Contracts

  • Board Member, Communication Advisory Board, UNM ADVANCE NSF Award. (2016-2021)
  • Panel Reviewer, National Science Foundation (NSF) (2017-present)
  • Collaborator, National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) proposal: Modeling and Analyzing High-Dimensional Molecular Assembly: Quantifying the Impact of Allergen Structure (Lydia Tapia) (2015-2020)
  • Education Mentor and CNM PI, NIH IRACDA/ASERT grant (Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Awards/Academic Science Education and Research Training Program) [NIH 5K12GM088021-04 Subaward 3R84N: $10,000 (2013)/$16,000 (2014, 2015)] (2013-2015)
  • Education Specialist, “Gateway Science and Math Course Reform” UNM STEM Gateway program [U.S. Department of Education Title V grant, 2011-2016] (2012-2014)
  • Invited Participant, NSF CAT (Critical Thinking Assessment Test) Scoring Workshop [NSF TUES 0404911, 0717654 and 1022789] (2014)
  • Online Facilitator and Invited Participant, NSF DBER (Discipline-Based Education Research) Workshop [NSF DUE 1316636] (2013)
  • Invited Participant, UNM MEMS (Micro Electrical Mechanical Systems) Workshop (2011)
  • Invited Participant, NSF CCLI (Course, Curriculum, and Laboratory Improvement) Proposal Preparation Workshop [NSF DUE 0924269] (2009)
  • Master TA, University of New Mexico (funded by NASA Pursue Project), 8/99-12/99
  • Graduate TA, University of New Mexico, 8/98-12/99
  • Graduate RA, University of New Mexico, 2/99-5/99

Internal Grants

  • Grants funded through the CNM Foundation and Perkins:

Teaching Technology

  • iPads to use in Active Learning Classrooms (50 requested, 100 funded (2013); $500 each)

Lab Instrumentation

  • Fourier-Transform Infrared Spectrometers (2 (2006) and 1 (2013); $35,000 each)
  • Gas-Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer (1; $50,000 (2006) and 1; $60,000 (2016))
  • Miniature Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectrometer (2 total; $80,000 each)


  • ChemDraw Site License (repeated every year, 2007-present, $4000 each year)

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles and Book Chapters

  • (In Process) Sorensen-Unruh, C. (2019). An Experiment In Progress: Using Ungrading in an Organic Chemistry II Lecture. In S. Blum (Ed.) Ungrading (pp. xxx). Morgantown, WV: West Virginia University Press.
  • Sorensen-Unruh, C. (2018). A Reflective Teaching Evolution: Using Social Media for Teaching Reflection and Student Engagement. In C. Sorensen-Unruh & T. Gupta (Eds.), ACS Symposium Series (Vol. 1274, pp. 35–59). Washington, DC: American Chemical Society.
  • Sorensen-Unruh, C. & Gupta, T. (Eds.). (2018). Communicating Chemistry Through Social MediaACS Symposium Series (Vol. 1274). Washington, D.C.: ACS Publications.
  • Sorensen-Unruh, C. (2017). ConfChem Conference on Select 2016 BCCE Presentations: Radical Awakenings—A New Teaching Paradigm Using Social Media. Journal of Chemical Education.

Selected Publishing Projects

  • Faculty Advisor (Editor and Trainer), Pearson Higher Ed (2015-present)
  • Reviewer and accuracy checker, Learning Catalytics question sets, Pearson Higher Ed (2014-present)
  • Co-author, CNM lab manuals for General Chemistry I and II labs [published through Hayden-McNeil] (2006-present)
  • Accuracy checker, Introductory Chemistry [Corwin, 5th and 6th editions] and Introductory Chemistry’s Student Solutions Manual [Corwin, 6th edition] (5th: 2006 and 6th: 2009-2010)
  • Invited Participant, Cengage Focus Group for General, Organic, and Biochemistry Text [Armstrong, 1st ed] (2009)
  • Author, Instructor Resource CD PowerPoint Lectures for Introductory Chemistry [Bauer, Birk and Marks, 1st ed] (2003)
  • Reviewer, 35+ chapters within Introductory, General Chemistry, and Organic Chemistry texts (2003-present)

Papers/Presentations Presented at Professional Meetings (including Local Meetings)

  • Using WordPress blogs to increase student agency and reflection in organic chemistry. PressED Conference: Online via Twitter. March 29, 2018.
  • Social Media 101. Invited ADVANCE Presentation: University of New Mexico. October 2017.
  • Radical awakenings: A new teaching paradigm using social media. Oral Presentation: 254th ACS National Meeting & Exposition, August 2017.
  • Ready, set, action! Using Go-Pro videos to connect instrumentation with students and faculty. Oral Presentation: 254th ACS National Meeting & Exposition, August 2017.
  • Radical awakenings: A new teaching paradigm using social media. Written Presentation: ACS ConfChem, Fall 2016.
  • Communicating chemistry through social media: A whirlwind tour of some options (with Dr. Liesl Jones). Oral Presentation: 251st ACS National Meeting & Exposition, Spring 2016.
  • Art of teaching biochemistry: Mentoring ASERT post-doctoral fellows (with Dr. Jayne Christen). Oral Presentation: ACS Biennial Conference on Chemical Education, 2014.
  • Reflective Teaching, Active Learning. Oral Presentation: NIH IRACDA Conference, 2014.
  • Active Learning: Methodologies and Practice. Oral Presentation: Pearson Innovating and Redesigning for Student Success Workshop, 2013.
  • An analysis of Traditional, Hybrid and Blended Class Performance. Oral Presentation: New Mexico Higher Education Assessment and Retention (NMHEAR) Conference, 2013.
  • Transforming Teaching: Moving Toward an Active Classroom (Parts 1 and 2). Oral Presentation: CNM Conference on Teaching and Learning, Albuquerque Convention Center, 2012.
  • Teaching Chemistry in Multiple Dimensions: An Analysis of Traditional, Hybrid, and Blended Learning Environments. Oral Presentation: ACS Biennial Conference on Chemical Education, 2012.

Successful/Approved IRB (Institutional Research Board) Proposals at CNM

  • Distance Learning vs. Traditional Lecture (An Analysis of Introductory, General, and Organic Chemistry in Traditional, Hybrid and Blended Formats) [2012-2016]
  • Using NSF CAT Apps and experience sampling to measure undergraduate STEM student engagement and critical thinking skills [2015-2017]

Professional Service

ACS Committees

  • Board Associate, Board of Publication, ACS Division of Chemical Education (April 2018 – present)
  • Chair, Strategic Task Force for Public Relations, ACS Division of Chemical Education (April 2017 – present)
  • Social Media Subgroup Chair and Member, Biennial Conference Committee, ACS Division of Chemical Education (January 2017 – present)


Manuscript Review
Journal of Chemical Education, Active 2009-present
Chemistry Education Research and Practice, Active 2018-present

National Meeting Service

  • Communicating Chemistry via Social Media. Joint symposium (virtual and in person) of RSC and ACS. Symposium organizer: ACS Biennial Conference on Chemical Education, Summer 2018.
  • Chemistry in the Age of Cheap Computing. Symposium organizer: 254th ACS National Meeting & Exposition, Fall 2017.
  • Social networking in chemical education research (SNiCER): Using social media to communicate, teach and research in chemical education. Symposium organizer: ACS Biennial Conference on Chemical Education, Summer 2016.
  • Communicating Chemistry Through Social Media. Symposium organizer: 251st ACS National Meeting & Exposition, Spring 2016.

College Service

  • (CNM) Faculty Advisor, CNM Chemistry Society (2014-2016).
  • (CNM) Mediasite and YouTube video lectures used by all CNM chemistry faculty teaching online courses (2009-2014, although most continue to use through present)
  • (CNM and UNM) Advised students, part time faculty, and tutors on techniques for learning chemistry concepts, teaching chemistry concepts, and studying/reviewing science. Advised students on course management, possible career tracks and overall progress as well.
  • (CNM and UNM (for PT only)) Served as a full-time (FT) and part-time (PT) faculty mentor as well as an educational mentor for two NIH IRACDA/ASERT post-doctoral fellows, observing classes taught and offering formal and informal input into teaching techniques. Currently serving as an online instructor mentor for FT and PT instructors, which includes teaching those instructors Bb Learn (as well as other online programs) and helping them with course content.
  • (UNM) Co-author and participant, Course Reform of Gateway STEM classes for General Chemistry I and II (2012-2014).
  • (UNM) Liaison between CNM and UNM Chemistry departments (2012-present).
  • (UNM) Co-investigator on an IRB proposal for the CHEM 120 (parachute) class (2012-2014)

Committees (CNM)

Standing Committee Member

  • Digital Pedagogy Team (2018-present)
  • IRB (2014-present)
  • Mobile Instructional Technology Team (2014-2015)
  • Mobile Applications (2014-2015)
  • L Building Renovation committee (2013-2015)
  • Distance Learning Advisory Committee (2011-2015)
  • Distance Learning Bb Faculty Support Group (2011-2013)
  • Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) Portfolio Committee and subcommittee (2012-2014)
  • MSE Chairs Council (2007-2009)
  • MSE Curriculum Committee (2007-2008)
  • Arts and Sciences Curriculum Committee (2004-2007)

Search Committee Chair

  • FT hiring committees (2007 (3 hires), 2012 (1 hire), 2014 (1 hire))

Search Committee Member

  • MSE Lab Supervisor (2007)
  • Dean [Health, Wellness, and Public Safety] (2011)

Ongoing Professional Development

  • Quality Matters Trainings and Peer Reviewer Certification (2011-present), including Applying the QM Rubric (2018) and Peer Reviewer (2019)
  • NSF CAT Workshops (Spring 2014 and 2015)
  • Online Instructor Certification (2007)