United States Air Force Academy

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Lieutenant Colonel Hershel Lackey

Assistant Professor

Department of Chemistry

Lt Col Lackey
Contact Information

(719) 333-6040



Lt Col Hershel Lackey is an assistant professor at the United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colorado.  He instructs undergraduate classes, guides cadets in academic research, and develops course materials.  He is also the director of the Department of Chemistry's Manpower Team, responsible for the recruiting and onboarding of new chemistry instructors.

Lt Col Lackey entered the Air Force in May 2007 through ROTC from Virginia Military Institute.  He completed initial defense acquisition training in Nov 2007 and has since held a variety of scientific positions related to the development of new technology for military applications and supporting the monitoring of international nuclear treaties.  Prior to his current position, Lt Col Lackey was Strategic Integration Management’s deputy division chief at the Air Force Technical Application Center, Patrick SFB, Florida.


2007 Bachelor of Science, Chemistry, Virginia Military Institute, Lexington, Virginia

2010 Master of Science, Chemistry, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida

2019 Doctorate, Chemistry, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah

Honors & Awards

Meritorious Service Medal

Air Force Commendation Medal

Air Force Achievement Medal



Colin S. Swenson, Hershel H. Lackey, Eric J. Reece, Joel M. Harris, Jennifer M. Heemstra, Eric M. Peterson “Evaluating the Effect of Ionic Strength on PNA:DNA Duplex Formation Kinetics” Royal Society of Chemistry Chemical Biology.  2021, 2, 1249-1256.

Hershel H. Lackey, Eric M. Peterson, Joel M. Harris, Jennifer M. Heemstra “Probing the Mechanism of Structure-Switching Aptamer Assembly by Super-Resolution Localization of Individual DNA Molecules” Analytical Chemistry. 2020, 92, 6909.

Jin Kyoon Park, Hershel H. Lackey, Matthew D. Rexford, Kirill Kovnir, Michael Shatruk, and D. Tyler McQuade “A Chiral 6-Membered N-Heterocyclic Carbene Copper(I) Complex that Induces High Stereoselectivity,” Organic Letters. 2010, 5, 12, 5008-5011.

Jin Kyoon Park, Hershel H. Lackey, Brian A. Ondrusek, and D. Tyler McQuade “Stereoconvergent Synthesis of Chiral Allylboronates from an E/Z Mixture of Allylic Aryl Ethers Using a 6-NHC−Cu(I) Catalyst,” Journal of the American Chemical Society.  2011, 133, 8, 2410-2413.