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Eric Hayes: Professor of Chemistry

Professor Eric Hayes’ classes sizzle, bubble and include colorful controlled eruptions. Bringing chemistry to life, he routinely demonstrates chemical reactions by conducting safe experiments during lectures. A chemistry professor for the past eight years, Hayes says, “Chemistry can be intimidating, so I often add visual components to lectures to enhance learning.”

Hayes got his start in industry rising from an intern at Phillip Morris to a senior analytical scientist at Wyeth Research. “I’ve always had a passion for teaching, but first I wanted to see how the science worked in industry.” Over a decade, Hayes conducted research on tobacco, household goods, appliances and pharmaceuticals.

Professor Eric Hayes works with students in a chemistry labHayes joined TCC in 2006 as a full-time faculty member at the Chesapeake Campus. “This is not a job for me, but a calling,” Hayes adds. “I may teach chemistry, but my ultimate goal is student success and positively impacting young people’s lives.”

An advisor for Student African American Brotherhood at the Chesapeake Campus, Hayes encourages young men to set goals and work toward them. “I always remind them not to despise small beginnings,” he says, “because what starts small can grow into something big.” Hayes also shares his time advising the Health Professions Club. 

“I really enjoy being part of the community college system because you can roll up your sleeves and make a difference for students,” Hayes adds. Hayes believes in “chalk-board” teaching and getting students involved in classroom discussions. His active style has led many students to pursue chemistry-related careers. 

Hayes holds a bachelor’s in biology, and a master’s and Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from Virginia Tech.