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Associate Professor and Chair of Chemistry
2 East South Street
Galesburg, IL 61401-4999
7 Ways to Experience Your Education
Many of our majors pursue College Honors, which is modeled after the dissertation defense of many grad programs. Honors includes advanced research, culminating in the defense of that research before a qualified outside examiner. Here are a few examples that show the breadth of Honors projects completed by our students:
Professors are constantly doing vital research in the field, and more often than not, students have the opportunity to collaborate and gain hands-on experience (often with the support of the Vovis Center for Research & Advanced Study). Professor of Chemistry Diana Cermak is looking at the synthesis of organic molecules that contain phosphorus and their role in biochemical transformations. Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Andrew Mehl is researching modern protein biopolymers called hydrogels. And Larry Welch, Clara A. Abbott Distinguished Professor Chemistry, is currently developing new methods to measure the activity of radon gas, and is using these methods to probe its underground migration.
Here are a few of the ways students are collaborating with professors with their research:
Since 2009, members of the chemistry faculty have published 20 papers in peer-reviewed journals, and the vast majority of these include undergraduate co-authors. Many of our students present their scientific work at national and international conferences.
Here are just a few of the events they've attended:
There's no better way to explore the possibilities of life after Knox than internships. Here are a few of our students' recent internships (found with the assistance from the Bastian Family Career Center):
The Chemistry Club is an affiliated chapter of the American Chemical Society. The Knox chapter has been recognized with awards at the national level and student members attend the national meeting to present their research and service (San Francisco 2017, San Diego 2016, Denver 2015, and New Orleans 2014). Other club activities include field trips, bringing speakers to campus, and going to local elementary schools to give chemistry demonstrations.
As you grow in the major, apply for opportunities to assist professors with teaching laboratories as a teaching (TA) or chemistry stockroom assistant. Obtain certification as a chemistry peer-tutor with the Center for Teaching and Learning, and build communication skills by holding chemistry review sessions. Develop leadership skills by mentoring new group members who join your research lab.