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Enhance Your Education

Distinctive Programs in Chemistry

Knox actively encourages students in all disciplines to engage in independent research and off-campus study and internships. Knox is a leader in involving students in advanced undergraduate research, sending students to several national and regional conferences every year.

Student Research and Creative Projects
Knox is a leader in promoting top-notch undergraduate research. In fact, more than 90% of all Knox students complete an independent research or creative project by the time they graduate. Many students' projects are supported by an unusually rich array of Knox College funding programs that together provide students more than $200,000 each year in support of their work. These sources include: College Honors Program, Richter Memorial Scholars Program, Ford Foundation Research Fellows Program, Ronald E. McNair Fellows Program, Dow Research Fellowships, Hughes Research Fellowships in the Natural Sciences, Merck/Research Fellowships, and departmentally supported independent studies. In addition, special fellowships awarded to Knox through national competitions and through the research grants of Knox faculty make Knox a leader in promoting undergraduate research. Examples of some recent student research projects include:

  • "Introduction to Organic Chemistry Research," Sarah Johnson '07, biochemistry major.
  • "Determination of a Kf value of a Tb-EDTA Complex by Studying the Luminescent Properties of Terbium," Christopher Mark Ripperda '06, chemistry major.
  • "Aminophosphonic Acid Synthesis," Aaron Thornton '06, chemistry major.

College Honors
Outstanding students may elect to undertake College Honors in their senior year, carrying out an advanced research project presented and defended to a faculty committee that includes a distinguished outside examiner. Examples of recent Honors projects include:

  • "Synthesis and Characterization of Liquid Crystalline Monosubstituted Copper (II) Carboxylate Dimers," Matthew Willard Pinkelton '13.
  • "Utilizing the Belousov-Zhabotinskii Oscillating Reaction as an Analytic Technique for the Determination of an Analyte in Complex Solution," Matthew David Becker '12.
  • "Synthesis and Properties of 8,8-([1,3-dioxolane]camphoryl)sulfonyl oxaziridine, Zackary Michel Herbst '12.
  • "An Ab Initio Study of the Reaction of Methylcyclopentane with Atomic Chlorine," Rachel Marie Klingler '12.
  • "Synthesis of Biologically Active Phosphonates from Castor and Lesquerella Oils," Effrat Libby Fayer '11.
  • "Ligand Exchange in Copper(II) Complexes: Utilizing Ligand Lability in the Synthesis of Novel Copper Dimers and Tetramers," Travis Robert Helgren '11.
  • "An Ab initio Study of the Reaction: C1 + Cyclopentane," Justin Allen Newman '11.

Off-campus Study
Knox offers you plenty of opportunities to begin exploring the world while still a student. Almost 50% of Knox students participate in off-campus study and consider their studies abroad to be the highlight of their college experiences. Knox offers several off-campus programs of particular interest to chemistry students:

  • Argonne National Laboratories (Recent projects include nuclear chemistry, superconductivity and energy resources)
  • Oak Ridge National Laboratory (both natural and social sciences)
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research, Peoria, Illinois
  • Illinois Department of Agriculture, Animal Disease Laboratory, Galesburg
  • Packer Engineering, Chicago
  • Ethyl Corporation, Wood River, Illinois
  • Commonwealth Edison, Chicago

Few experiences can prepare you better for life after Knox than conducting an internship. As a Knox chemistry student, you can conduct an internship for course credit either during the academic year or the summer, working closely with a faculty supervisor while engaging in fieldwork and completing an academic paper. Recent internships by chemistry students include:

  • Summer Research, Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois. Chris Ripperda '06, chemistry major.
  • Summer Research, Chemistry Department Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois. Aaron Thornton '06, chemistry major.
  • Camp Counselor, Camp Abe Lincoln, Blue Grass, Iowa. Cory Wilczynski '06, chemistry major.
  • Intern, Burgland Drugs, Galesburg, Illinois. Claire Matekaitis '05, chemistry and biochemistry major.
  • Sales Intern, Tropical Isle, Galesburg, Illinois. Andria Widaman '05, chemistry and biochemistry major.
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