Morgan Hawker earned her B.S. in chemistry with a minor in education from UC Santa
Cruz, where her undergraduate research focused on light-emitting core-shell nanoparticles.
After life as a banana slug, she moved east to attend graduate school at Colorado
State University where she earned a PhD in Chemistry. Her graduate research primarily
focused on fabricating and plasma-modifying 3D polymer materials (advised by Ellen
Fisher), and she also evaluated metacognitive monitoring in general chemistry classes
(advised by Dawn Rickey). As a graduate student at Colorado State, she had the opportunity
to teach general chemistry and was immediately hooked on college teaching!
Before joining the Fresno State community, Dr. Hawker completed postdoctoral research
at Tufts University in the Teaching in Education and Critical Research Skills (TEACRS)
program sponsored by the National Institutes of Health. This program provided Dr.
Hawker with the opportunity to gain additional classroom teaching experience, as well
as research silk-based materials in a biomedical engineering context (advised by David
Research interests and specialties Dr. Hawker is broadly interested in applications of physical chemistry in the field
biomedical materials. She has experience working with a range of polymeric materials,
from synthetic polyesters to naturally derived polymers such as silk. Work in her
group aims to customize polymer surface chemistry using a gas phase strategy called
plasma processing. Tuning plasma parameters allows us to customize the polymer surface,
which we can use as a tool to control how material responds to its surrounding environment.
Dr. Hawker is excited to mentor undergraduates and graduate students in all areas
of this work, and students working in her lab will have the opportunity to actively
participate in making, modifying, and characterizing polymeric materials based on
Teaching interests and specialties Dr. Hawker enjoys teaching general chemistry and physical chemistry. She also likes
bringing her research interests into the classroom by teaching students about surface
science and soft materials. She emphasizes adopting a growth mindset and self-reflection
exercises in all of courses. Her goal is to to encourage all of her students to learn
more about themselves as learners as they tackle the challenging and wonderful world
Fabricating polymeric materials for biomedical applications, especially those based
on natural polymer systems. Plasma modification of soft materials. Developing characterization
techniques for soft materials with complex architectures.