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Visiting Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Memorial Hall, Room 301-B
The Labry School of Science, Technology, and Business
B.S., Arizona State University
Ph.D., University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Dr. Snelling joined the faculty at Cumberland University in the fall of 2023, as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Chemistry. His wife Debbie also joined the chemistry faculty as an Adjunct Instructor of Chemistry.

Dr. Snelling graduated in 1977 with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Arizona State University. He conducted two years undergraduate research that resulted in the first computer program that allowed chemists to view and manipulate true 3D renderings of organic compounds. He was a founding member of Beta Omega Chapter of Alpha Chi Sigma, a professional chemistry fraternity and was also a member of Sigma XI, The Scientific Research Honor Society.

After graduating, he went on to the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, and in 1981 earned a Ph.D. in both Organic and Analytical chemistry. His research centered on innovative mass spectrometry ionization and detection techniques for high molecular weight antibiotics. A major project was to build a novel hardware and software interface for pulse photon detection of extremely weak ion signals. It was later commercialized as the P.A.D. (Post Acceleration Detector) by Kratos. But without a doubt, his greatest achievement was meeting and marrying his wife Debbie who was also a chemistry graduate student, studying x-ray crystallography of air sensitive inorganic molecules.

After graduation in 1981, Dr. Snelling joined Exxon’s Research and Development Laboratory in Baton Rouge to modernize their conventional mass spectrometry facility and build a new research facility. In 1989, Dr. Snelling left Exxon for Unocal’s Science and Research Facility (Union 76), in sunny southern California (but he sure missed the Cajun cuisine in Baton Rouge). There he designed and built a state-of-the-art analytical facility to analyze geochemical biomarkers from core samples to support worldwide exploratory oil drilling operations.

In 1993, Unocal sold their Research and Science facility and Dr. Snelling joined Amway in Ada Michigan to run their quality control and research analytical facilities. This management position was unique because most of the chemists reporting to him only had BS or MS degrees. Significant time was spent mentoring these chemist and Dr. Snelling realized that he particularly enjoyed this facet.

Based on his experiences at Amway, 1996. Dr. Snelling switched careers and joined Volunteer State Community College in Gallatin, TN as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry. For the next 21 years, he helped to design the new Chemistry building, websites, instrumentation acquisition and maintenance, and wrote all of the labs for the General and Organic chemistry sequences. He was greatly aided in these efforts by having his wife Debbie by his side as the department’s laboratory technician and adjunct instructor.