Chemistry and Biochemistry
Xavier Creary is a native of New Jersey and he received his B. S. in 1968 from Seton Hall University. His Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry is from The Ohio State University in 1973. After a year as a postdoctoral research associate at the University of California, Santa Cruz he joined the faculty of the Department of Chemistry at Notre Dame in 1974. In 1977 he was awarded an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship and in 1994 he was appointed as the second holder of the Charles L. Huisking Chair in Chemistry. His research interests are aimed at understanding chemical reactivity and reaction mechanisms in organic systems using the tools of Physical Organic Chemistry. He is the author of 100 papers in the areas of Physical Organic and Synthetic Organic Chemistry.
Professor Creary has taught a variety of courses at Notre Dame ranging from general chemistry to elementary Organic Chemistry, to graduate level organic chemistry courses. His teaching awards include the Kaneb Teaching Award (three times) as well as the Thomas Madden Award for teaching in the freshman year. He has also been awarded the Shilts-Leonard Teaching Award in the College of Science. He is particularly interested in laboratory aspects of chemistry courses and the use of these laboratories to re-enforce lecture concepts. Classroom demonstrations remain an integral part of his teaching methods. The use of small group problem sessions, where students solve the “Problems of the Day” at the blackboard, is one of the primary methods used to encourage student interaction, interest, and learning in Chemistry.