Meet The Authors

Kevin Roy image

Kevin Roy completed his Honours Bachelor of Science at uOttawa in 2019 and is currently completing his M.D. at the uOttawa School of Medicine. In 2018, Kevin was working on a research project that evaluated the effects of an open education resource in an undergraduate chemistry classroom. During that time, he was introduced to the open textbook movement. Kevin learnt about how a team led by a professor from the University of Toronto enlisted students to adapt an open textbook for an undergraduate classroom. After attending this presentation, Kevin was inspired to create a student-led adaptation of an open textbook for a large undergraduate class in the Faculty of Science: a project for students, by students. It is his hope that this project will serve as an example of how undergraduate students can advocate for and even create open education resources at their academic institution.


Mahdi Zeghal

Mahdi is a current medical student at the University of Ottawa. Being native to Ottawa, he completed his high school studies in the nation’s capital and his post-secondary undergraduate studies in Biomedical Sciences at uOttawa. Mahdi’s been involved in many opportunities to educate others for many years, and what was once just a common part of his extracurriculars now became his passion. He continues to actively seek involvement in education initiatives and opportunities, including promoting medicine to interested students, advocating for improved medical education, and teaching others how to engage with medical learners in large- and small-group settings. He sincerely hopes that this open textbook, being an incredible project and initiative spanning many months of hard work, will serve to help students excel in CHM 1301/1311 and perhaps even gain an appreciation for the study of chemistry.

Jessica Thomasimage

Jessica is currently an undergraduate chemical engineering student at the University of Ottawa. Throughout her academic career, Jessica has found herself tutoring, peer-teaching, and now, creating unique content to further the education of new chemistry students. Jessica hopes that this open textbook allows students better access to course material beyond the confines of a heavy and expensive general chemistry textbook. She hopes the reader enjoys this work; despite any challenging questions it may contain.


Dr. Kathy-Sarah Focsaneanu

Kathy-Sarah Focsaneanu (known as “Dr. Fox” to her students) received both her bachelor’s and Ph.D. in chemistry from uOttawa, working in the Scaianoresearch group, which specializes in photochemistry – the study of the interaction of matter and light. During her Ph.D., she also worked as a TA in several courses and fell in love with teaching. After finishing her doctorate, Dr. Fox was very fortunate to join the Faculty of Science as a teaching-intensive Science Lecturer. Now, her focus is on incorporating new teaching technologies and techniques into the Chemistry classroom and carrying out small research projects in Chemistry Education.

Geneviève O’Keefe


Geneviève O’Keefe is an undergraduate student at the University of Ottawa with the Faculty of Science, pursuing an H.B.Sc. in Biopharmaceutical Sciences with a specialization in Medicinal Chemistry. Geneviève has a passion for research and education in undergraduate chemistry and is keen to help widen the accessibility of this science amongst the student population. Her involvement in this project was motivated by her own personal experiences as an undergraduate science student relating to purchasing expensive course materials. She hopes that this resource will prove to be useful and valuable to the University of Ottawa student population specifically. Upon graduating in 2021, she intends on pursuing a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry at the University of Alberta.


Dr. Brandi West

Brandi West received her B.Sc. (Honours) in chemistry from Trent University in 2006. During her honours project, she developed an interest in physical chemistry that lead her to earn an M. Sc. from Queen’s University in 2009. She then joined the mass spectrometry facility at the University of Ottawa, where she earned her Ph. D. in 2014. Her research focused on the thermodynamics and kinetics of gas-phase reactions. Her passion for physical chemistry and mass spectrometry led her to complete a PDF position at the University of Auckland, New Zealand (2015) where she investigated the thermodynamic properties of aerogels using MALDI imaging. Upon her return to Canada, Dr. West rejoined the mass spectrometry facility before accepting her current position as a part-time professor at the University of Ottawa in 2018. Dr. West has had the opportunity to teach a range of physical and analytical chemistry courses, along with general chemistry. In her free time, Dr. West enjoys a diverse range of pastimes; from sewing and quilting to bingeing the latest sci-fi show or getting together with family and friends to play a new board game. 

imageDerek Fraser-Halberg

Derek is currently a second-year Biochemistry Science student at the University of Ottawa. Derek finds that extending the knowledge he has gained through the years of being a biochemistry student is not only enjoyable for himself, but helpful to others. His unique ability to readily explain hard to understand subjects in a simple manner has given him the opportunity to assist students in ways such as: helping his classmates with the courses they are taking, advocating for better educational standards to those less fortunate, and creating resources to better cater to the needs of students. This open textbook is an extension of Derek’s passion to help and create a better learning environment for students and teachers. Derek actively seeks ways in which he can engage and help people with the knowledge he has gained throughout his years of education. He truly believes that his efforts in helping others, whether it’s to CHM 1301/1311 students,                      or anyone interested in learning, will serve to benefit the greater good and advance society as a whole.

Nathan Biniamimage

Nathan Biniam is currently a second-year student at the University of Ottawa enrolled in the Biomedical Sciences program.  Nathan enjoys assisting members in his community and is deeply interested in both neuroscience and technology. As an active member of his community, Nathan has been involved in several opportunities to assist others. Over the last few years he has taken part in many educational initiatives and opportunities, whether it be leading school clubs or tutoring individuals struggling in the sciences. Among the many educational initiatives he is involved in, the open textbook has been an excellent addition to his passion for helping educate others. As a student who has completed the course, Nathan believes the textbook will be an excellent resource to help students both transcend in CHM 1301/1311 and develop a general appreciation for chemistry.

Leanne Trepanier


Leanne Trepanier is currently enrolled as an undergraduate student in the B.Sc. Nursing program at the University of Ottawa. Since she is of the opinion that chemistry can be involved in everyday life, even outside of a science major, she was thrilled to collaborate on this project. Leanne is excited to share this open education resource with those taking General Chemistry at the University of Ottawa to help them acknowledge the clear links between chemistry and the world surrounding them. Being a university undergraduate student, she is also aware of the cost of learning materials which are normally necessary for courses. Having this free, accessible resource online, she hopes that it will enable all students to gain a deep understanding of general chemistry, without any economic discrimination.

Debby Pinos

Debby is a current undergraduate biochemistry student with a minor in computer sciences at the University of Ottawa. Having developed a passion for learning and research, Debby loves to help her friends and peers by organizing study groups and tutoring sessions. Working on the open textbook has given her the opportunity to be part of this movement to support other students’ educations. Debbie believes that education is priceless, and she feels fortunate to be a part of this project. She hopes that the students in CHM 1301/1311 will benefit from this free resource and advance in their studies.


Anupriya Kakkar

Anupriya is currently enrolled as an undergraduate student in the BSc in Psychology program at the University of Ottawa. Anupriya’s favorite core science is Chemistry and she is very passionate about the importance of education and making difficult concepts easier to grasp. She is very interested in research, specifically in the field of dementia and how to improve the quality of lives of those living with dementia. Working on the textbook has allowed Anupriya to provide and apply her student perspective to update the textbook. As a student who completed the course and used the textbook, she believes it will have a very positive impact on student’s understanding of Chemistry.



Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

General Chemistry for Gee-Gees Copyright © by Kevin Roy; Mahdi Zeghal; Jessica M. Thomas; and Kathy-Sarah Focsaneanu is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book