Hampton Roads Local Section

2016 Officers

Chair: Steven Harris, PhD
Christopher Newport University


Chair-elect: Benjamin Lasseter, PhD
Christopher Newport University


Benjamin F. Lasseter was raised in the forests of Michigan, his first experience of natural science.  He learned the identification and use of edible wild plants beginning at age 6.  He attended college at the University of Dallas, with a scholarship from the John B. O’Hara Foundation to study biochemistry. In 1993, he joined the American Chemical Society as a student affiliate.  He earned his Bachelor of Science in 1996, and went directly to Texas A&M University to commence his doctoral studies in Biochemistry.

 He earned his Ph.D. in 2003, defending his work on the mechanism of allosteric behavior in E.coli phosphofructokinase.  The following two years were spent working with the Catholic Schools Textbook Project writing biographical summaries of famous scientists for the editor-in-chief, his father, Dr. Rollin A. Lasseter.  In 2005, he began teaching chemistry at the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts, where he met his wife, Dr. Sumie Shima.  While there, he developed the biochemistry program.

In 2010, seeking to move into the collegiate academic world a return to the world of academic research, Dr.Lasseter took a one-year temporary position at Lake Superior State University, teaching organic chemistry and biochemistry.  At the end of that year, he accepted a position as lecturer at Christopher Newport University, where he teaches biochemistry lab, coordinates the general chemistry labs, and runs an active research program focusing on biometal incorporation and metal use within enzymes.  He served as chair elect then chair of the Hampton Roads Local Section of the American Chemical Society from 2012 to the end of 2013


Brandon Alexander, MA
Huntington Ingalls Industries Newport News Shipbuilding



Brandon currently works at Huntington Ingalls Industries Newport News Shipbuilding as an Environmental & Analytical Chemist. Primarily working on a daily basis performing inorganic analysis on any number of samples coming from the Navy as HII-NNS is a VELAP accredited laboratory. In addition, Brandon works in the environmental lab performing lead analysis as HII-NNS is an AIHA accredited facility for Environmental Lead. 

Brandon has been awarded grants through American Chemical Society for Leadership Development and continues to make Hampton Roads ACS a priority. Brandon has previous experience in Nuclear Power Plant & Commercial Power Plant Radiation Health Physics. He has served aboard aircraft carriers USS Theodore Roosevelt, USS Abraham Lincoln and the USS Enterprise. Additional service on Submarines USS West Virginia & USS Minnesota.

Brandon has previous research experience in synthetic inorganic chemistry specializing in Iron Carbonyl and Tungsten Carbonyl-Trispyrazolylborate Ligand Moieties. In 2010 he was the first to synthesize two new multi-metal carbonyl clusters to a central indium atom, expanding the use of 3,5 dimethyl-Trispyrazolylborate Ligands bonding capability.


Treasurer: Charles Bump
Hampton University,

Past Chair:  Dmitry Liskin
Christopher Newport University

Member at Large: Kevin Kittredge,
Virginia Wesleyan College

Member at Large: Abby Eveler
Christopher Newport University


Member at Large:
Peter N. Njoki, PhD



Dr. Njoki is an Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Forensic Chemistry at Hampton University.


He received his Ph.D. in Chemistry (with concentration in Nanoscience) from Binghamton University - State University of New York (SUNY). Subsequent to that, he held postdoctoral appointments at Binghamton University - SUNY and Syracuse University. His research interest includes Nanoscience, Electrochemistry, Materials Chemistry, Catalysis, and Forensic Chemistry.


He has authored or co-authored over 30 publications in peer-reviewed journals focusing on synthesis, characterization and application of nanomaterials. He has two issued patents for his work in this area. He is a member of American Chemical Society, Materials Research Society and Virginia Academy of Science.


Executive Committee Positions Descriptions

Chair:  The chair presides at all regular meetings, the annual business meeting, all Executive Committee meetings, and special meetings except those delegated to temporary or standing committee chairs.  The chair will appoint all temporary or standing committees.  The chair has general supervision of the affairs of the section, including the drafting of the yearly budget plan and strategic plan for the section.  The chair completes the yearly report for the section, and sends it to the councilor and alternate councilor for their approval.

Chair-Elect:  The Chair-Elect of the Section shall, in the absence of the Chair, perform the duties of that office and shall serve as Chair of the Program and Entertainment Committee.

Secretary:  The Secretary of the Section shall keep a record of the proceedings of the Section and of the meetings of the Executive Committee; keep a roll of the members and affiliates of the Section; serve notice of all meetings, both regular and special; and perform other duties customarily associated with this office.

Treasurer:  The Treasurer of the Section shall: collect and disburse all funds of the Section; send out all notices of dues and arrearages; report to the Secretary the names of all Local Section Affiliates dropped from the rolls of the Section for non-payment of dues; collect all funds due the Section from the society; render a financial report to the Section at the annual business meeting; and perform other duties customarily associated with this office.

Members-at-Large:  The members-at-Large shall serve as members of the executive committee.