Chemistry Professor Excited to Dive into Teaching

By Nicole Carl

Staff Writer

Story originally published Sept. 27, 2018

Dr.Jonathan Humston, a new assistant professor of chemistry, may look like just a normal professor, but he is also a volunteer scuba diver for the Johnson country metro dive team. 

This includes doing rescue and recovery while working together with local law enforcement. For example, if a car ends up in a river he would haveto go swim to the vehicle and attach hooks to get it out. 

Since the water is black here, Humston has to do intense training for the dark depths he goes in.

He was born in Iowa City and went to Northern Iowa to study chemistry. That is when he learned he wanted to do more. “I wanted to study and teach”. He went a to Tanzania to do his student teaching under a chemistry teacher from Canada. 

He taught at the International School of Moshi located at the foothills of Kilimanjaro. Humston came back to the states and got a teaching job in Iowa city at City High for two years, and he had to teach freshman five times a day. 

Although he enjoyed that job, he went back to school to get his Ph.D. Humston wanted to be able to teach higher education and still be able to do his own study and research.

After obtaining his PhD he was in the area and heard of Mount Mercy and applied. He got to stay in the area he grew up in and now at Mount Mercy he can do what he has always wanted to do.

“My main focus here is going to be teaching of course” but he also wants to research and advise students. 

He is excited that the chemistry major is still fairly new and wants to influence the direction it takes. Being one of the few chemistry professors on campus he gets to do a lot and wants to be involved with his students throughout their time here.

After work he goes home to his two boys in Iowa city, 3-year-old Levi and 1-year-old Dallas. Humston and his wife, Tina, are excepting their first daughter this spring. She is a captain in the Iowa City Fire Department. Humston also almost became a firefighter, he even took a basic EMT course, but he noted that he married one instead.

He likes to spend most of his time with his family, playing with his kids and dog. However, since he has a commute, he also spends time listening to Audible books and lectures. In his home life Humston and his family enjoys going on walks, talking a trip to the farmers market and going on hikes together.


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