• B.S., Marquette University, Chemistry and Mathematics, 2000
  • Ph.D., University of Minnesota, Physical Chemistry, 2005
Areas of Interest
  • Photostability and spectral properties of dyes & pigments used in art
  • Photochemistry and degradation kinetics of organic UV absorbers
  • Application of spectroscopic and chromatographic methods to assess degradation kinetics
Courses Taught


  • CHEM 111: General Chemistry I
  • CHEM 112: General Chemistry II
  • CHEM 318: Physical Chemistry I
  • CHEM 319: Physical Chemistry II
  • CHEM 401: Introduction to Independent Study
  • CHEM 430 : Experiential Learning Laboratory
Independent Study Advising
  • Megan Zins (CHEM 2022) “The Fading of Intention: Photdegradation Studies of Carmine Colorants and Their Implications in Art Conservation.”
  • Georgia Hopps-Weber (CHEM & ARTH 2021) “Preserving Keith K]Harings Legacy of ‘Art for All’ through the Study of the Chemical Degradation of Daylight Fluorescent Paints and their Constituent Rhodamine Dyes.”
  • Rose Taylor (CHEM & MATH 2019) “Investigation of the Aqueous Photodegradation of Ortho-Substituted Aminobenzoic Acid Derivatives.”
  • Sarah J. Schmidtke Sobeck, Gregory D. Smith “Shedding Light on Daylight Fluorescent Artists’ Pigments, Part 2: Spectral Properties and Light Stability” Journal of the American Institute for Conservation, 2023, 62 (3), 222-238.
  • Sarah J. Schmidtke Sobeck, Victor J. Chen, Gregory D. Smith “Shedding Light on Daylight Fluorescent Artists’ Pigments, Part 1: Composition” Journal of the American Institute for Conservation, 2022, 61 (4), 218-236.
  • Catherine Boyles*, Sarah J. Schmidtke Sobeck “Photostability of Organic Red Food Dyes.” Food Chemistry, 2020, 315, 126249.
  • Haley A. Rossiter*, Kaitlynn M. Wilson Arnholt*, Evan Robinson*, Sarah J. Schmidtke Sobeck “Tuning the electron acceptor moiety of aminobenzoate derivatives and its spectroscopic impact.” Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology A: Chemistry, 2017, 349, 238-243.
  • Leah M. Rader Bowers*, Sarah J. Schmidtke Sobeck “Impact of medium and ambient environment on the photodegradation of carmine in solution and paints.” Dyes and Pigments, 2016, 127, 18-24.



1. Dyes in History and Archaeology 42 Nov. 1, 2023
“Blinded by the Light”: Impact of Daylight Fluorescent Pigment Composition on Product Color and Light Stability, poster.

2. Ohio Photochemical Society Meeting July 11, 2023
Impact of Energy Transfer Pairs on the” Pop” and Fading of Daylight
Fluorescent Pigments”, invited presentation.

3. Inter-American Photochemistry Society Winter Conference Jan. 6, 2023
Blinded by the Light: Investigations of the Photochemistry of Daylight Fluorescent Pigments, invited presentation.

4. Gordon Research Conference on Cultural Heritage July 10-15, 2022
“Enlightening” Sprouse: Lightfastness and Composition of Daylight Fluorescent Pigments, poster.

5. 51st Annual NSEE Conference (National Society for Experiential Education) Sept. 2022
Aligning Academic Initiatives with Professional Best Practice, Roundtable
discussion and” Recasting Experiential Programs to Embrace Equity: A Case Study,
PechaKucha Presentation, Co-presentations with Cathy L. McConnell.

Professional Experience

Associate Dean for Experiential Learning 2020 – Present

Associate Professor 2012 – 2020

Assistant Professor 2006 – 2012

Department of Chemistry, The College of Wooster, Wooster, OH


Professional Affiliations
  • Expanding Your Horizons workshop presenter for adolescent girls promoting science & math careers (annually April) 2008-present
  • B-WISER (Buckeye Women in Science, Engineering, and Research Institute) workshop presenter for adolescent girls’ science camp (annually June) 2007-present
  • Wayne County LEPC (Local Emergency Planning Committee) member 2015-present
  • IUPAC Young Observer 2015
  • American Chemical Society (ACS)
    • Wooster Local Section of the ACS Chair 2014-2017
    • Wooster Local Section of the ACS Secretary 2007-2013
  • Inter-American Photochemical Society (I-APS)

• NetVUE Program Development Grant, Co-Director 2023-2025
Campus-wide Career Development and Vocational Discernment Initiatives
• NSF-MRI Grant, Co-PI (Award 1626088) MRI: Acquisition of an NMR
Spectrometer to Sustain Excellence in Undergraduate Research 2016–2019
• American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund (ACS PRF)
Undergraduate Research Grant (ACS PRF 53159-UR4) 2013–2016
• IUPAC Young Observer 2015 2015
• Mexican Council of Research and Technology
Graduate Student International Travel Support, Co-Sponsor 2011
• NSF-CRIF Grant (Co-PI): U of MN CyberMULE (Award 1048560) 2010
• National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow 2002 – 2005