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Sarah A. Cummings

Teaching Professor and Organic Chemistry Coordinator; Director of the University Core Curriculum


Sarah Cummings is a teaching professor in chemistry and is currently serving as the director of the University Core Curriculum. She received her bachelor's degree from Haverford College, her Ph.D. from Columbia University, and was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Utah before joining the Nevada faculty in 2007. She has received multiple teaching awards at the college, university, and system levels, including the Gene LeMay Outstanding Teaching Award, the Alan Bible Teaching Excellence Award, the Regents' Teaching Award, the F. Donald Tibbitts Distinguished Teacher Award, and the Paul and Judy Bible Teaching Excellence Award. She has been recognized as a Westfall Scholar Mentor and a Senior Scholar Mentor. In addition to helping students learn and apply content knowledge within her field, Dr. Cummings is committed to training students to develop skills that they will continue to utilize in any career: how to think critically, how to identify and solve a problem, how to work as a team, and how to communicate effectively. She is passionate about increasing student success, and her current work is focused on implementing active-learning strategies into large-enrollment courses.


  • 2019 Paul and Judy Bible Teaching Excellence Award
  • 2017 NSHE (Nevada System of Higher Education) Regents' Teaching Award
  • 2016 F. Donald Tibbitts Distinguished Teacher Award
  • 2012 Alan Bible Teaching Excellence Award
  • 2010 LeMay Award for Excellence in Teaching

Presentations on Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

  • "Comparison of traditional lecture, online, and flipped class approaches to a large enrollment organic chemistry course." S.A. Cummings, Oral Presentation, Biennial Conference on Chemical Education, Greeley, CO, August 2016.
  • "Green chemistry principle #9 (catalysis): cCWCS workshop inspired curricular reform in large enrollment organic chemistry laboratories." S.A. Cummings, Oral Presentation, Biennial Conference on Chemical Education, Greeley, CO, August 2016.


  • Postdoctoral (2006-2007), University of Utah (Matthew S. Sigman)
  • Ph.D. (2006), Columbia University (Jack R. Norton)
  • B.S. (2001), Haverford College


  • Gligorich, K.M.; Iwai, Y.; Cummings, S.A.; Sigman, M.S.  A new approach to carbon-​carbon bond formation:  development of aerobic Pd-​catalyzed reductive coupling reactions of organometallic reagents and styrenes.  Tetrahedron 2009, 65, 5074-5083.
  • Kristian, K.E.; Iimura, M.; Cummings, S.A.; Norton, J.R.; Janak, K.E.; Pang, K.  Mechanism of the Reaction of Alkynes with a "Constrained Geometry" Zirconaaziridine.  PMe3 Dissociates More Rapidly from the Constrained Geometry Complex than from its Cp2 Analogue.  Organometallics 2009, 28, 493-498.
  • Cummings, S.A.; Tunge, J.A.; Norton, J.R.  Direct measurement of the rate of zirconaaziridine enantiomer inversion.  J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2008, 130, 4669-4679.
  • Gligorich, K.M.; Cummings, S.A.; Sigman, M.S.  Catalytic reductive coupling of styrenes and organometallic reagents under aerobic conditions.  J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2007, 129, 14193-14195.
  • Cummings, S.A.; Iimura, M.; Harlan, C.J.; Kwaan, R.J.; vu Trieu, I.; Norton, J.R.; Bridgewater, B.M.; Jakle, F.; Sundararaman, A.; Tilset, M.  An estimate of the reduction potential of B(C6F5)3 from electrochemical measurements on related mesityl boranes.  Organometallics 2006, 1595-1598.
  • Cummings, S.A.; Radford, R.; Erker, G.; Kehr, G.; Fröhlich, R.  Formation of a dynamic η2(O,N)-hydroxylaminato zirconocene complex by nitrosoarene insertion into a Zr-C σ-bond.  Organometallics 2006, 839-842.
  • Cummings, S.A.; Tunge, J.A.; Norton, J.R.  Synthesis and reactivity of zirconaaziridines.  In New Aspects of Zirconium-Containing Organic Compounds; Marek, I., Ed. Topics in Organometallic Chemistry; Springer-Verlag:  Berlin, 2005; Vol. 10, pp 1-39.