Harry Baxter earned his B.S. in Chemistry from Clarion University of Pennsylvania in 1979 and then a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the Pennsylvania State University in 1986. At FSU, he teaches General Chemistry, General Chemistry Laboratory, Chemical Principles, Chemical Principles Laboratory, Organic Chemistry, Advanced Integrated Laboratory and occasionally the interdisciplinary liberal studies courses, Science That Matters I and II. Baxter coordinates the General Chemistry program. He has been working to develop outcomes and incorporating WebCT/Vista support in the General Chemistry classes. Baxter was instrumental in organizing several very successful Open Houses in the Department of Biology, Chemistry and Geoscience for area high school students. This has become an annual opportunity for area high school students interested in science, science education or pre-professional programs to visit FSU. Out-of-school activities include reading, swimming, hiking, other outdoor activities and following his son’s soccer team. During the breaks he usually travels to Hawaii or Mexico to spend time with his family at the beach.
I have learned a lot from my students. I realize that the majority of my students are trying to balance coursework with work and/or family obligations. They are really busy and I have gained a lot of respect for the students because they are doing a good job with this balancing act. I try to work with the students so they will accomplish the course objectives. I have learned to use in-class activities and worksheets which help the students to learn the material necessary to achieve the class objectives.
Most students feel that I am a good teacher and that they learn a lot from my classes. The students like the outcome approach that I am using because it clearly shows them what is important in the course and serves as a guide in studying for the tests. The students also like the in-class activities and worksheets because this provides a hands-on learning approach. The students can get help as they are doing the work and it gives them the opportunity to ask questions about the material.