Jane E. Wissinger

portrait of Professor Jane Wissinger

Jane E. Wissinger

Distinguished University Teaching Professor, Organic Lab Director, Department of Chemistry


Kolthoff Hall
Room 468A
225 Pleasant Street Se
Minneapolis, MN 55455


Center for Sustainable Polymers
ACS Student Chapter Adviser

B.A. Susquehanna University, 1981

M.S. Georgia Institute of Technology, 1983

Ph.D. Northwestern University, 1987


Jane Wissinger received her Bachelor of Arts from Susquehanna University (PA), Master's from Georgia Institute of Technology (GA), and doctorate in organic chemistry from Northwestern University (IL). She was employed as a research scientist at Rohm & Haas Co. for five years before beginning her academic career at the University of Minnesota.

Wissinger’s teaching and research interests focus on the development of curriculum materials for the college and high school levels that exemplify modern green chemistry methodology, advances in sustainable polymers, and guidedinquiry pedagogy. She is a senior principal investigator in the NSF Center for Sustainable Polymers and active in promoting green chemistry education locally and on a national level through funded projects, publications, and conferences.

Her contributions to education were recognized with a University of Minnesota Morse-Alumni Distinguished Teaching Professor award (2014) and an ACS-CEI Award for Incorporation of Sustainability in Chemistry Education (2018). Wissinger was an Institute on the Environment (IonE) Educator in 2018-2019. She has been a member of the American Chemical Society since 1980 and is currently an associate of the National ACS Committee on Environmental Improvement.

Research Interests

Environmental & Green Chemistry

Organic Chemistry

Polymer Chemistry

Our research interests focus on the development of organic chemistry laboratory experiments and curriculum materials for the college and high school levels that exemplify modern green chemistry methodology, advances in sustainable polymers, and guided-inquiry pedagogy.  One example is the development of a new green oxidation procedure for the undergraduate organic teaching laboratories using Oxone® and a catalytic amount of sodium chloride for the conversion of borneol to camphor, both natural products.1  Also developed in our labs is a novel sustainable polymer experiment which involves the synthesis of a triblock polymer from a naturally occurring lactone and L-lactide.2 This all renewable thin, film polymer can be analyzed by 1H NMR analysis and has been successfully performed by thousands of students in our organic chemistry laboratory course.

green oxidation of borneol to camphor, bioplastics from plant starches, green chemistry principle, renewable triblock coploymer
Teaching Subjects
Organic chemistry I (2301)
Organic chemistry II (2302)
Green Chemistry (4601)
Organic Chemistry Laboratory (2311)
Currently Teaching Courses
She has organized and hosted NSF funded workshops on teaching Guided-Inquiry Organic Chemistry Labs and currently co-organizes a Green & Sustainable Chemistry Workshop for Minnesota High School teachers.
Honors and Awards

American Chemical Society Committee on Environmental Improvement Award for incorporating sustainability into chemistry education, 2018

Institute on the Environment Educator, December 2017 to January 2019

Horace T. Morse-University of Minnesota Alumni Association Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education, 2014


Professor Wissinger has published 30 organic chemistry technique videos (YouTube) used around the world in association with the Mohrig and co-authors Laboratory Technique in Organic Chemistry textbook.

Corcoran, E.; Wissinger, J. E. Earth-Friendly Plastics. Celebrating Chemistry, Chemists Celebrate Earth Week, 2020, p. 8. Published by the American Chemistry Society, Washington, D.C. https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/education/outreach/celebrating-chemistry-editions.html

Selected Publications

Aubrecht, K. B.; Bourgeois, M.; Brush, E. J.; MacKellar, J.; Wissinger, J. E. Integrating Green Chemistry in the Curriculum: Building Student Skills in Systems Thinking, Safety, and Sustainability. J. Chem. Educ. 2019, 96 (12), 2872-2880. DOI: 10.1021/acs.jchemed.9b00354.

Knutson, C. M.; Hiler, A.; Tolstyka, Z. P.; Wilbon, P. A.; Mathers, R. T.; Anderson, C. B.; Perkins, A. L.; Wissinger, J. E. Dyeing to Degrade: A Bioplastics Experiment for the College and High School Classroom. J. Chem. Educ. 2019, 96 (11), 2565-2573. DOI: 10.1021/acs.jchemed.9b00461.

Mailing Address

Jane E. Wissinger
University of Minnesota
Department of Chemistry
E-6, 139 Smith Hall, 207 Pleasant St SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455-0431