Dr. Dharshi Bopegedera has been a faculty member at The Evergreen State College since 1991. She completed her B.S. Honors degree in Chemistry with Mathematics minor at the University of Peradeniya in Sri Lanka. Her Ph.D. degree in Physical Chemistry with inorganic chemistry minor is from the University of Arizona. Her Ph.D. dissertation, completed under the supervision of Professor Peter F. Bernath, was on “Dye Laser and Diode Laser Spectroscopy of Gas-Phase Free Radicals”. She completed a two-year post-doctoral research project at the NOAA, Environmental Research Laboratory in Boulder, CO, before starting her academic position at The Evergreen State College.
Dr. Bopegedera’s academic interests include gas phase spectroscopy and developing problem based chemistry laboratory exercises and workshops to actively engage students in learning chemistry. She has published her educational work (Journal of Chemical Education) and presented them nationally and internationally at chemistry conferences and as an invited speaker. She received two teaching awards from The Evergreen State College: the Burlington Northern Faculty Achievement Award (1993) and The Evergreen State College President’s Faculty Achievement Award (2014).
Dr. Bopegedera is currently serving as an Alternate Councilor in the Executive Committee of the Puget Sound Section of the American Chemical Society (ACS) where she served as its Chair in 2005. Her favorite service project in this Section is organizing the Annual Career Event for the benefit of the undergraduate students. She served as the Coordinator for the National Chemistry Week and Earth Day for this Section for 15 years. She has served as the Faculty Advisor to The Evergreen State College Chemistry Club, a Student Affiliate Chapter of the ACS, since its inception in 2003. She involves her college students in outreach activities to teach science in the local community and has been on the organizing committee of the Annual Science Carnival (where college students present their science projects and research to the local community) at The Evergreen State College since its inception in 2003.