Cal Poly Pomona


You are at the web page of Phil Beauchamp, chemistry professor at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. I have been teaching at Cal Poly Pomona since 1981. I grew up in Pomona, about a mile away from Cal Poly. The university and the hills around it were an adventure wonderland for a young boy. There was no road over to MSAC, no cement drainage channel and no Diamond Bar. The natural drainage ditch that was here was filled with fish, pollywags and frogs, snakes, a wide assortment of birds and animals, just the things that little boys used to be made of. Walnut and citrus groves were abundant and Cal Poly's horse arena was situated where the current University Union is located. I attended local schools, including Kellogg elementary, Marshall Jr. HS, Ganesha HS and MSAC Jr. College. I chose my university by looking only at "beach" school catalogs, and based my choice on the catalog with the prettiest beach pictures, where presumably I would be busy surfiing. That put me at UC San Diego in 1969, where I obtained my BA degree in 1971 ( ...way too hard for much surfing). I have worked numerous jobs over the many decades. One of my first jobs was being a paper boy in 1960-2, and my route included Cal Poly. The last paper on my route was the home of the President of Cal Poly University. I also took care of yards, cleaned pools, was a janitor, a factory worker, a lifeguard, tutored math and chemistry and I was inducted into the U.S. Army in 1971, where I worked as a food and meat inspector for three years. Food and meat inspectors work under Army Veterinarians and since the captain I worked under did not have a vet tech, I did a lot of vet work for about 2.5 years. After my army experience, I returned to Cal Poly Pomona, uncertain about what I wanted to do, but certain I wanted to collect the GI bill. My master's thesis was to determine thermodynamic parameters of organic acid ionizations in DMSO. I was given the opportunity to be a teaching assistant, which I did for three years, while obtaining my MS. That was the my most enjoyable job to that point, and led me to graduate school at UC Irvine in hopes that I could obtain a Ph.D. in chemistry and become a college teacher. An additional very important detail is that I also met my future wife at Cal Poly. My research at U.C. Irvine was supposed to be in physical organic chemistry, but turned out to involved a lot of organic synthesis just trying to make the things we were supposed to study, so suddenly I became a synthetic organic chemist instead of a physical organic chemist. Just as I was graduating from U.C. Irvine, a position opened up at Cal Poly Pomona, and as luck would have it once again I returned to this area. I've enjoyed every year at Cal Poly. I have been in charge of our department's NMR since 1990 and worked with Dr. Vasu Dev until 2011 on elucidating structures from plants that he collected from around the world. I just retired this August (2012) and will teach half time in the FERP program for 5 more years, if all the parts hold together.. My wife, Patty, is a dentist in the local area, and fairly late in life we decided to start a family. We now have two wonderful daughters, Julie and Jenny. My life seems to always be too busy, but also very fulfilling. I wish the same for you.



snail mail:

Phil Beauchamp
Chemistry Dept
Cal Poly Pomona
Pomona, CA 91768

Phone: 909-869-3659