KAMSC Honors Chemistry
Dr. Joseph Thorstenson (aka Dr. T) joined the KAMSC staff in the fall of 2000 as a chemistry instructor.
Just like the 84 steps up to the KAMSC floor of the old Central High School building, the road to his teaching position at KAMSC was a long and challenging one. After receiving a BA degree from Macalester College in St. Paul Minnesota (go Scots!) with a major in Chemistry and minors in Math and Russian, Dr. T went to Purdue University (go Boilermakers!) and obtained a Ph.D. in organic chemistry. Following a brief stint in the tobacco industry (making a better chewing tobacco had not been one of his life-long goals) he returned to academia at the University of Kentucky (go Wildcats!) on post-doctoral fellowships at UK's Colleges of Entomology and Pharmacy. Responsibilities included metabolic investigations, pesticide residue projects, new drug syntheses and occasional lecturing in biochemistry classes.
But fellowships do not last forever (actually about 2 years) and so other gainful employment was secured at a contract toxicology testing laboratory in Mattawan, Michigan. For about 18 years, he was the department head of analytical chemistry training and supervising chemists in metabolism, pesticide residue and quality control testing procedures and projects. In addition, he taught chemistry as adjunct faculty at the local community colleges as well as at WMU for several years. It was also during this time that he obtained an MA degree from the University of San Francisco (go Dons!) in Environmental and Occupational Toxicology.
After leaving industry, he obtained a secondary teaching certificate from Western Michigan University (go Broncos!) while he ran the Water Quality Laboratory at WMU. Dr. T taught chemistry in the Portage Public School system for 2 years before joining KAMSC.
Dr. T retired in 2013 but returned part-time to KAMSC in the fall of 2014 assisting in the administration of KAMSC's Research Program for a couple of years.
His interests include flying airplanes, running, playing music and eating.