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Who We Are

Tony Jacob || Allice Dang || Kelly Jetzer
José Laboy || Agnes Lee || Shea Ramey
Tracey Reitz || David Toland || Yashira Zavala
All staff members can be contacted at (608) 265-5497
Tony Jacob, Director
Picture of Tony Jacob 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 Dang
Picture of Allice Dang Allice earned her Bachelor's degree in Chemistry from the
University of California, Berkeley and her Master's degree in Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Other than teaching Allice enjoys running and yoga.


Kelly Jetzer
Picture of Kelly Jetzer 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.

José Laboy
Picture of Jose Laboy José 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 José 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.

Agnes Lee
Picture of Agnes Lee A transplant from New York City, I came to Madison for grad school and eventually 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 College, OSHA, Madison Crime Laboratory, Forest 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, hiking, 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 of an adobe house in Taos, New Mexico, and building ICF (insulated concrete form) houses in Grey-Bruce, Canada. It 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 Ramey
Picture of Shea Ramey 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 Reitz
Picture of Tracey Reitz 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"

David Toland
Picture of David Toland 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 PEOPLE Program at LaFollette High School.

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 Zavala
Picture of Yashira Zavala 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.


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