New Faculty Join the Department

January 1, 2012 / By: UST Chemistry Department

In 2012 two new faculty joined the UST Chemistry Department. Gabriela Uzcategui began in January 2012 and Peter Gittins began in September 2012.  Dr. Uzcategui is teaching general chemistry and Dr. Gittins is teaching organic chemistry.  A breif description of their backgrounds can be found below.

Dr. Gabriela Uzcategui:

  • Bachelor’s degree in chemistry. Universidad Central de Venezuela, Caracas-Venezuela
  • Ph.D. in organic chemistry. Baylor University, Waco, TX
  • Postdoctoral research in organic/inorganic chemistry, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX

Gabriela was born in Caracas, Venezuela; she has two brothers. Her parents taught her the importance of family and the value of hard work in order to achieve her dreams. She decided to come to the United States in 2005, obtained her doctorate degree in 2010 and has been a chemistry professor ever since.

In January 2012, Gabriela became part of the University of St. Thomas family.  She enjoys the learning-teaching experience associated with academia and also finds happiness in ballroom dancing, painting, and spending time with family and friends.


Dr. Peter J. Gittins

  • Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in chemistry. Lancaster University, United Kingdom
  • Ph.D. in organic chemistry and postdoctoral research at University of Sheffield, United Kingdom

Pete grew up in Manchester, England, and has two sisters, both of whom still live in England. He got his first chemistry set as a gift from his 5th-grade teacher and won the Prize for Chemistry in his senior year.

Pete played soccer in middle school and high school and continues to enjoy watching his home team, Manchester United. After high school, he studied at Lancaster University, where he met his wife, a St. Olaf graduate who was studying abroad. After graduating, he worked at General Mills while she completed her degree. They moved back to the UK, where Pete completed his Ph.D. and postdoctoral work before relocating to Northfield, MN (his wife's hometown) in 2004. They still live there with their two boys (5 and 2) and spend weekends hanging out as a family, outdoors, or working on remodeling projects on their house.  Pete joined the department in September 2012.