Dr. Jason Hudzik, assistant professor of chemistry at County College of Morris (CCM), began his chemistry career by attending CCM in 2001 and then came full circle when he returned to teach at the college. In between, he studied at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) earning his bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. degrees in chemistry.
“I realized I enjoyed chemistry after taking general and organic chemistry at CCM,” he says. “I was fascinated by the critical thinking aspects of those courses as well as how they applied to so many different fields of study.”
He remains active in the research he began while working on his Ph.D. “I keep in touch with my academic advisor at NJIT. We still do research and publish the results,” he says. “Remaining active with research keeps me current with what’s going on in the field. Our research uses theoretical and computational chemistry to analyze compounds related to fuels.” The work he does has the potential for worldwide impact in the development of sustainable and alternative fuel sources.
“We collaborate with many different people throughout the country and the world who are doing this research and share our findings through publications,” he says. “One of the most rewarding moments of my career was the first time I had a research article published in The Journal of Physical Chemistry A. Other people took my findings and built upon them to make further advances, and I realized I was making an impact in the global scientific community.”
He finds it equally satisfying to make a difference in the classroom. "When a student doesn’t understand something, works very hard and finally has that ‘aha’ moment, that’s a great feeling.” His students come from all walks of life and backgrounds and he enjoys learning about their goals and dreams.
“One of the most important aspects of education is teachers caring about their students, and you get that at CCM. Since I‘m a teacher now, I feel that I owe that to my students. Being able to talk to your professors and have them show an interest in you is really motivating and I think students respond to that.”