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Scholarly work

Featured work

Ngai, C., Corbo, J. C., Falkenberg, K., Geanious, C., Pawlak, A., Pilgrim, M. E., Quan, G. M., Reinholz, D. L., Smith, C., & Wise, S. B. (2020). Facilitating Change in Higher Education: The Departmental Action Team Model. Glitter Cannon Press. 


Reinholz, D. L., Pilgrim, M. E., Stone-Johnstone, A., Falkenberg, K., Geanious, C., Ngai, C., & Corbo, J. C. & Wise, S. B. (2021). Focus on outcomes: Fostering systemic departmental improvements. To Improve the Academy: A Journal of Educational Development, 40(2). doi:

Ngai, C.; Corbo, J. C.; Quan, G. M.; Falkenberg, K.; Geanious, C.; Pawlak, P.; Pilgrim, M. E.; Reinholz, D. L.; Smith, C.; Wise, S. (2020). Developing the Departmental Action Team Theory of Change. In K. White, A. Beach, N. Finkelstein, C. Henderson, S. Simkins, L. Slakey, M. Stains, G. Weaver, & L. Whitehead’s (Eds.) Transforming Institutions: Accelerating Systemic Change in Higher Education. Pressbooks.

Ngai, C.; Corbo, J. C.; Quan, G. M.; Falkenberg, K.; Geanious, C.; Pawlak, P.; Pilgrim, M. E.; Reinholz, D.; Smith, C.; Wise, S.  (Forthcoming 2020) Developing the DAT Theory of Change. In White, K., Beach, A., Finkelstein, N., Henderson, C., Simkins, S., Slakey, L., Stains, M., Weaver, G., & Whitehead, L. (Eds.). Transforming Institutions: Accelerating Systemic Change in Higher Education. Pressbooks.

Ngai, E., & Ngai, C. (2020). Compressed Gas Safety at the University. Journal of Chemical Education. 

Reinholz, D., Pawlak, A., Ngai, C., & Pilgrim, M. (2020). Departmental action teams: Empowering students as change agents in academic departments. International Journal for Students As Partners, 4(1), 128-137.

Ngai, C.; Pilgrim, M. E.; Reinholz, D. L.; Corbo, J. C.; Quan, G. M. (2020). Developing the DELTA: Capturing cultural changes in STEM departments. CBE-Life Sciences, 19(2). DOI: 10.1187/cbe.19-09-0180 

Quan, G. M.; Corbo, J. C.; Finkelstein, N. D.; Pawlak, A.; Falkenberg, K.; Geanious, C.; Ngai, C.; Smith, C.; Wise, S.; Pilgrim, M. E.; Reinholz, D. L. Designing for institutional transformation: Six principles for department-level interventions. Physical Review Physics Education Research. 2019. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.15.010141 

Reinholz, D. L., Ngai, C., Quan, G., Pilgrim, M. E., Corbo, J. C., & Finkelstein, N. Fostering sustainable improvements in science education: An analysis through four frames. Science Education. 2018. DOI: 10.1002/sce.21526

Reinholz, D.; Pilgrim, M.E.; Falkenberg, K.; Ngai, C.; Quan, G.; Wise, S.; Geanious, C.; Corbo, J.; Finkelstein, N. Departmental Action Teams: A five-year update on a model for sustainable change. Reinvention Collaboration, 2018. link to full text 

Ngai, C.; Sevian, H. Probing the relevance of chemical identity thinking in biochemical contexts. CBE-Life Sci. Educ. 2018, 17(4), ar58, 1-12. DOI: 10.1187/cbe.17-12-0271

Sevian, H.; Hugi-Cleary, D.; Ngai, C.; Wanjiku, F.; Baldoria, J.M. Comparison of Learning in Two Context-based University Chemistry Classes. Int. J. Sci. Educ. 2018, 40(10),1239-1262. DOI: 10.1080/09500693.2018.1470353

Ngai, C.; Sevian, H. Capturing Chemical Identity Thinking. J. Chem. Educ. 2017, 94(2), 137-148. DOI: 10.1021/acs.jchemed.6b00387

Banks, G., Clinchot, M., Cullipher, S., Huie, R., Lambertz, J., Lewis, R., Ngai, C., Sevian, H., Szteinberg, G., Talanquer,V., Weinrich, M. Uncovering Chemical Thinking in Students’ Decision Making: A Fuel‐Choice Scenario. J. Chem. Educ., 2015, 92(10), 1610‐1618.


Sevian, H.; Ngai, C.; Szteinberg, G.; Brenes, P.; Arce, H. Concepción de la identidad química en estudiantes y profesores de química: Parte I‐La identidad química como base del concepto macroscópico de sustancia. Educación química, 2015, 26, 13‐20.


Ngai, C.; Sevian, H.; Talanquer, V. What is this substance? What makes it different? Mapping progression in students’ assumptions about chemical identity. Int. J. Sci. Educ., 2014, 36, 2438‐2461.


Szteinberg, G.; Balicki, S.; Banks, G.; Clinchot, M.; Cullipher, S.; Huie, R.; Lambertz, J.; Lewis, R.; Ngai, C.; Weinrich, M. Collaborative Professional Development in Chemistry Education Research: Bridging the Gap between Research and Practice. J. Chem. Educ., 2014, 91, 1401‐1408. 

Coming soon

A paper about principles-guided work in higher education!

Recent presentations

December 2021


August 2021



June 2021

March 2021

October 2020

September 2020

November 2019




April 2019


September 2016

September 2016

August 2016

June 2015

August 2014

July 2014

C. Ngai, A. Stephens. “Creating Conditions for Compassionate and Resilient Community Work.” Part of a facilitation series hosted by INTEREACH.

C. Ngai, H. Love. "The Art & Science Behind Facilitation: Series Introduction." Introductory webinar of a facilitation series hosted by INTEREACH.


C. Ngai, J. Corbo, S. Wise. "Utilizing a Principles-Focused Approach for Change Efforts." 60-minute webinar hosted by AAAS-IUSE.

C. Ngai, J. Corbo, G. Quan S. Wise. "Facilitating change through the Departmental Action Team model." 90-minute webinar hosted by the Accelerating Systemic Change Network.

C. Ngai, J. Corbo, G. Quan, S. Wise. "Facilitating change through the Departmental Action Team model." 60-minute webinar hosted by AAPT Sea Change project.


C. Ngai et al. Incubators Spaces for the International Network for the Science of Team Science: Facilitation Panel. Invited panelist.

C. Ngai, K. Falkenberg, J. Corbo, D. Reinholz. “DATs: Facilitated teams supporting change in departmental structures and culture.” Interactive workshop. Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education annual conference, Pittsburgh, PA. 

C. Ngai, D. Reinholz. “Characterizing departmental culture and assessing change with the DELTA survey.” Oral presentation. Transforming Institutions, Pittsburgh, PA. 

C. Ngai, H. Sevian. “Examining the link between chemical identity thinking and biochemical contexts.” Oral presentation. ECRICE, Barcelona, Spain.


C. Ngai, H. Sevian. “How students classify and differentiate substances: characterizing chemical identity thinking.” Oral keynote presentation. EuCheMS, Seville, Spain.


C. Ngai, H. Sevian. “Exploring the relevance of chemical identity in biochemical contexts.” Oral presentation. ACS Fall National Meeting, Philadelphia, PA.


C. Ngai, H. Sevian. “Understanding how students identify and distinguish substances: Development of the Chemical Substance Identification (CSI) Survey.” Poster presentation. Gordon Research Conference on Chemistry, Education, Research and Practice, Lewiston, ME.


C. Ngai, H. Sevian. “Chemical Identity: What is this substance?” Poster presentation. Gordon Research Conference on Green Chemistry, Hong Kong, China.


C. Ngai, H. Sevian and V. Talanquer. “This Substance vs. That Substance: Exploring Chemical Identity,” Oral presentation. International Conference on Chemistry Education, Toronto, ON, Canada.

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