Aug. 17, 2017
Valerie Baggett is a native of Southern California. She earned her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from California State University, Fullerton, and her master’s in chemistry from the University of California, Irvine. She has an extensive background in scientific instrumentation, as she worked for Beckman Instruments developing and marketing UV-Visible Spectrophotometers, pH meters and Liquid Scintillation Counters. Her expertise in instrumentation gave her the opportunity to give seminars and support the instrumentation throughout Europe, Asia, Mexico and Canada.
Baggett then worked as a freelance writer writing technical manuals for scientific instrumentation and editing graduate theses. She led women’s Bible study groups in her church and was the coordinator for several years. More recently, she was an adjunct professor at El Camino College, Santa Monica College and California State University at Dominguez Hills.
Baggett has been teaching chemistry at Biola since 2010. Her primary teaching responsibility is for the Organic and Biochemistry courses for Allied Health with Lab. She also teaches Introductory Chemistry and has prepared materials for online use. She is also the chemistry lab coordinator and is responsible for ordering lab materials, safety compliance and hazardous materials waste.
When she is not teaching chemistry, she enjoys sailing, kayaking, windsurfing and skiing. She is an Adaptive Ski Instructor working for USARC at Bear Mountain in the winter and assists with kayaking and sailing for UCLA. She is also an open water swimmer and competes in the annual Pier-to-Pier race in Manhattan Beach.
Jonah Chang was born and raised in Canada, but eventually immigrated to Southern California to pursue his doctorate in synthetic organic chemistry at UCLA, continuing as a post-doctoral scholar at UCI. After teaching stints at both UCLA and Santa Monica College, he joined the Christ-centered community at Biola University where he teaches upper and lower division chemistry classes. He maintains a small research group focused on the chemical synthesis of natural products. Jonah and his wife Vivian serve at a local fellowship in Alhambra.
Dana Johnson's graduate work in chemistry involved the synthesis and characterization of viral fusion proteins in both the human respiratory syncytial virus and human T-cell leukemia virus. As one interested in the intersection between faith and science, Johnson was among the first graduates of the Master's in Science and Religion program here at Biola. He continues the conversation with his students through his classes in organic chemistry. He and his wife have two daughters, and they attend and serve a local church in Whittier.