Sue Jackels, Ph.D.


Professor Emeritus

Phone: 206.296.5946

Building/Room: ENGR 610


Dr. Jackels has taught general chemistry and inorganic chemistry and is currently focused on developing a course on Chemistry, Food and Nutrition in the new core curriculum for non-science students. In 2000, she began a new research initiative that combines her expertise in chemistry with the needs of poor small-scale coffee farmers in Nicaragua. Over the past ten years she has partnered with Catholic Relief Services/Nicaragua (CRS/NI), Nicaraguan agricultural NGOs ADDAC (Association for the Development and Diversification of Agricultural Communities) and CECOSEMAC (“Aroma of Coffee” Union of Multiple-service Cooperatives), and colleagues at Seattle University, the University of Central America Managua and University of Washington Bothell, to work on projects designed to help Nicaraguan coffee farmers improve the quality, consistency and sustainability of their green coffee product. The goal is to help the coffee farmers in improving their coffee so they can market their excellent coffee on the specialty coffee market. In 2003 - 2004 she was on sabbatical and spent three months conducting field research on coffee farms in the Matagalpa region of Nicaragua. In 2005 – 2006 she was a Discovery Corps Senior Fellow of the National Science Foundation and spent six months in Nicaragua developing and implementing a test kit with farmers for coffee quality improvement. More recently, since 2007 she has been involved in collaboration with Professor Mike Marsolek of Seattle University in projects to design and build micro-wastewater treatment facilities for coffee processing water on small farms. In all, over fifteen students have contributed to these projects. The following six publications have resulted (undergraduate student co-authors in bold):

  • S. Jackels, C. Jackels, C. Vallejos, M. Marsolek, “Coffee for Justice: Chemistry and Engineering in Service to the Jesuit Mission with Small-holder Coffee Farmers of Nicaragua,” a book chapter for “Justice in Jesuit Higher Education, Transforming the World and Being Transformed,” Fordham University Press, New York, NY, 2013.
  • M.D. Marsolek, J.T. Alcantara, P. Cummings, L. Quintero, M. Wynne, C. Vallejos, C.F. Jackels, S.C. Jackels, “Wastewater Treatment for a Coffee Processing Mill in Nicaragua: A Service-Learning Design Project,” International Journal for Service Learning in Engineering, 2012, vol. 7, pp 69-92, ISSN 1555-9033.
  • S. Jackels, C. Lopez, C. Jackels, R. Rivas, S. Kleven, S. Fraser-Dauphinee and C. Vallejos, “Successful Experiences in Research between the University of Central America Managua, Seattle University and Coffee Farmers of Matagalpa, Nicaragua,” in Innovations in Nicaraguan Universities, Eds. F. Aleman, H. Medrano, A. Norgren, A. Reyes and S. Scheinberg, published by Consejo Nacional De Universidades, Managua, Nicaragua, ISBN 978-99924-1-010-3, 2010.
  • C. Jackels and S. Jackels, “Coffee Fermentation Kit and Method,” U.S. Patent Application No.US20060204620, published September 14, 2006.
  • S. Jackels, C. Jackels, C. Vallejos, S. Kleven, R. Rivas and S. Fraser-Dauphinee, “Control of the Coffee Fermentation Process and Quality of Resulting Roasted Coffee: Studies in the Field Laboratory and on Small Farms in Nicaragua During the 2005 – 2006 Harvest,” Proceedings of the 21st ASIC (Association Scientifique Internationale du Café) Meeting 2006, pp. 434 – 442.
  • S. C. Jackels and C. F. Jackels, “Characterization of the Coffee Mucilage Fermentation Process Using Chemical Indicators: A Field Study in Nicaragua,” Journal of Food Science2005, 70, C321 – C325.

Currently, in collaboration with colleagues at the Global Knowledge Initiative Potato Taste Challenge Group, she is studying volatile chemical profiles of coffees having the potato taste defect in order to help define and remediate this serious problem caused by the attack of an insect on the growing coffee of the small-holder coffee farmers of Rwanda.