Together for Good
Skip to main content area Skip to main navigation Skip to institutional navigation Skip to footer

School of Science & Engineering

Cynthia McGowan

Dean and Professor of Chemistry

Cynthia McGowan is dean of the School of Science and Engineering, supporting Provost Allan Weatherwax in this exciting period of momentum for the school and Merrimack College. She will focus on growing Merrimack’s science and engineering programs and faculty. 


Ph.D., Brandeis University
B.A., Russell Sage College

Professional Experience

  • Microscale Organic Laboratory: with Multistep and Multiscale Syntheses, 5th Edition, D. W. Mayo, R. M. Pike and D. C. Forbes with microwave chemistry contributions from N. E. Leadbeater and C. B. McGowan, Wiley, 2010, ISBN-13: 978-0-471-21502-8
  • Bowman, Matthew D.; Schmink, Jason R.; McGowan, Cynthia M.; Kormos, Chad M.; Leadbeater, Nicholas E.   Scale-Up of Microwave-Promoted Reactions to the Multigram Level Using a Sealed-Vessel Microwave Apparatus.    Organic Process Research & Development  (2008),  12(6),  1078-1088. 
  • Clean, Fast Organic Chemistry: Microwave-Assisted Laboratory Experiments, Nicholas Leadbeater, PhD and Cynthia McGowan, PhD CEM Press, 2006, ISBN#13:978-0-972222229
  • M. M. Singh, C. B. McGowan, Z. Szafran and R. M. Pike, “A Comparative Study of Microscale and Standard Burets”, J. Chem.Educ. 2000, 77, 625.


The main research focus of Dr McGowan’s laboratory is the application of microwave heating to preparative organic chemistry. She has a number of undergraduate research students working under her supervision each semester and over summer breaks. As well as exploring new synthetic methods for organic transformations, she is also actively developing chemical education materials. She has transformed the organic chemistry curriculum at Merrimack College by introduction of microwave heating as a tool. By converting a number of reactions from conventional to microwave conditions, it has been possible to expand the scope of experiments undergraduates can participate in during laboratory periods. She has collaborated extensively with Dr Leadbeater, University of Conneticut,  in developing a range of new experiments for the undergraduate teaching laboratory.