Sam Pazicni

Position title: Assistant Professor of Chemistry


Phone: 608.263.5801

Room 5209, Department of Chemistry
1101 University Avenue
Madison, WI 53706

Research Website
Pazicni Lab
Research Interests
chemistry learning and assessment; visiospatial skills and reasoning; equity and inclusiveness
Sam Pazicni


  • B.A. 2001, Washington and Jefferson College
  • Ph.D. 2006, University of Wisconsin, Madison
  • Postdoctoral fellow at University of Michigan, 2006-2009



Our work combines a deep knowledge of Chemistry (its big ideas, practices, and scientific culture) with methods and models from education, cognitive science, linguistics, and social psychology. In doing so, we examine issues related to how students learn chemistry and inform the design of instructional materials and teaching strategies. We are particularly interested in:

  • Chemistry Learning and Instructional Practices
    We apply a knowledge-in-pieces perspective to investigate students’ ideas about a number of chemistry concepts, including chemical bonding, light-matter interactions, and molecular symmetry. We also study course/curriculum design principles and instructional practices, such as multidimensional learning and systems thinking.
  • Equity and Inclusion in Chemistry Professional Training
    We are interested in exploring the chemistry career ecosystem from Critical perspectives. That is, we view asymmetries between individuals from majority groups and individuals from historically excluded groups as consequences of systemic flaws. In doing so, we aim to provide evidence-based recommendations for centering equity and inclusion in all sectors of chemistry professional training, including undergraduate and graduate education, as well as career and professional development aimed at students from historically excluded groups.