Dr. Sylvia Esjornson

Dr. Sylvia Esjornson is an Associate Professor of Chemistry at Southwestern Oklahoma State University (SWOSU). She specializes in Environmental and Inorganic Chemistry.


1982 – B.S. Chemistry, University of Scranton

1989 – Ph.D. Chemistry, Purdue University

1995 – Began teaching at SWOSU


Dr. Sylvia Esjornson (Mentor)

Dr. Esjornson conducts research in chemical education. The classroom is her laboratory. The work involves observation and analysis of teachers and learners in the context of a theoretical framework and methodology. The emphasis of the work is observing and documenting the development of student learners from the novice to the expert position.

Recent work includes:

(2020) Symposium organizer Authenticity and purpose when instilling the habits of mind of a chemist in self-regulated learners: How do you get students to want to learn how to teach themselves, and then do it?

(2018) Symposium organizer Application of Learning How to Learn in the Chemistry Curriculum with papers How I help students to become their own teachers—I get them to practice, and Mapping out a complex learning landscape: Writing about it helps students find their way.

(2017) Presentation in Transformative Learning Seeing the House in a Pile of Stones: Helping Learners Make Sense of How Facts Become Knowledge

(2016) Symposium organizer Application of”Learning How to Learn” to the chemistry curriculum with papers Making sense of making knowledge: Using the language of learning to help students become their own teachers and Creating a “Periodic Table” of bean bag plush toys: a learn how to learn activity.

(2015) Gateway courses symposium paper Three Pillars of Learning in Undergraduate Education: Explore How Deep Learning, Intellectual Development, and Acquisition of Professional Skills Lead to Higher Levels of Student Success through a Course Transformation Experience.

(2014) Symposium participant S68: Argumentation in the K – 16 Chemistry Curriculum with papers Using the study of argument to learn about industrial chemistry as students find claims and evidence in C&EN cover stories while Hillocks’ Teaching of Argument Writing advocates the supporting of generalizations with concrete evidence and Using the study of argument to learn about environmental regulation through analysis of scientific evidence within national environmental policy act records of decision.

(2013) Symposium participant Strategies for Teaching Chemistry to Diverse Student Bodies with paper Cognitive tools for science learning applied to the teaching and learning of chemistry” and symposium participant Innovative Uses of Assessments for Teaching and Research with paper Using the California Chemistry Diagnostic Test as a pretest and posttest pair in the introductory general chemistry course.

(2012) Symposium participant Teaching Chemistry Study Skills: The Missing Piece for Student Success with paper P561: Cognitive tools for science learning and symposium participant S64c: Pedagogical Efficacy of Electronic Homeworkwith paper P935: How to help students maximize learning from their homework effort with creative scheduling of assignments.

(2010) Symposium participant S45: Electronic Homework: What Have We Learned? with paper P549: Strategies for assigning and scheduling electronic homework to improve completion rates.”

Dr. Esjornson also supervises research in environmental and industrial chemistry topics.


Email: sylvia.esjornson@swosu.edu Office Number: CPP 202-C
Phone Number: 580-774-7032


CHEM 1004 Gen Chem
CHEM 1004L Gen Chem Lab
CHEM 1203 Gen Chem I
CHEM 1252 Gen Chem I Lab
CHEM 1303 Gen Chem II
CHEM 1352 Gen Chem II Lab


CHEM 3244/L Environmental Chemistry/Lab
CHEM 4254/L Industrial Chemistry & Environmental Regulations/Lab