What can I do with a chemistry degree from The College of Wooster?
Access to lab facilities, early research opportunities with faculty members and small classes at The College of Wooster give Chemistry majors lots of choices after graduation. Wooster is a national leader among private four-year undergraduate institutions when it comes to the number of graduates who go on to earn a Ph.D. in chemistry. Wooster ranks third among U.S. institutions where women doctorate recipients in chemistry earn bachelor’s degrees according to a 2019 report published by the Council of Independent Colleges and based on data from the National Center for Education Statistics and National Science Foundation. About 50% of our graduates go on to Ph.D. programs; another 20% enroll in medical or dental school. Other graduates are employed as teachers or work in labs for Merck, Eli Lilly & Co., Agilent and more.
Chemistry at The College of Wooster
In addition to core courses, all students at The College of Wooster complete independent research under the guidance of a faculty mentor. This focused research project (of the student’s design) gives chemistry majors several semesters to develop research and presentation skills, culminating in a presentation to a faculty panel. Chemistry majors build professional skills for careers in the sciences, while also building critical thinking skills and expanding their perspectives through the variety of courses available at a small, private liberal arts college.
Chemistry majors follow a curriculum informed by the American Chemical Society’s Committee on Professional Training comprised of courses across the major subdisciplines of chemistry.
The major requires completion of 15 course credits and room for electives and foundational courses in the liberal arts. Three semesters’ worth of work on Independent Study are factored into the major course of study.
The College of Wooster is nationally recognized for its program of Independent Study, and for more than 50 years the College has required that every graduate complete a significant Independent Study project under the guidance of a faculty mentor. Chemistry majors begin identifying the project that will be the subject of their Independent Study thesis early in their junior year. Seniors set aside both semesters of their senior year to work on and deliver their projects.
Name: Megan E. Zins Major: Chemistry Minor: Art History Advisors: Dr. Sarah J. Sobeck Cultural heritage objects are irreplaceable objects that have artistic, historical, and/or cultural […]
Approximately 50 percent of Wooster chemistry graduates enter Ph.D. programs in areas including chemistry, environmental science, biochemistry and epidemiology. Another 18 percent have gone on to health professional schools. Graduates in chemistry have won Fulbright Awards and have gone on to earn advanced degrees at some of the nation’s most prestigious research universities.
Diane Gorgas ’86 draws on Wooster experience in all facets of her career
The Helen Murray Free Endowed Lecture Series
Helen Murray Free, a 1945 College of Wooster graduate and a pioneering scientist who was inducted into the National Inventor’s Hall of Fame in 2000, was honored with the inaugural Helen Murray Free Endowed Lecture, featuring Dr. Mary Lowe Good.
The lecture series was established by Helen’s children and endowed through the Al and Helen Free Foundation. Each year, this endowed fund brings a renowned chemical scientist to campus to interact with chemistry students at a technical level and present an all-college convocation on the contributions of science to the quality of life.
Free, whose research in clinical chemistry not only revolutionized diagnostic testing in the laboratory, but also in the home, developed the “dip-and-read” glucose tests for diabetics. She was awarded seven patents for her clinical diagnostic test inventions, and also helped to develop a product for diagnosing Hepatitis ‘A’ while working for Miles Laboratories. In addition, she provided invaluable leadership in the testing of newborn infants for genetic or metabolic disorders that might lead to mental retardation.
Throughout her career, Free has been an active advocate of science education. From 1987 to 1992, she chaired the American Chemical Society’s (ACS) National Chemistry Week Task Force. In 1980, she was chosen as one of Wooster’s Distinguished Alumni Award winners; in 1992 she received an honorary degree from Wooster; and in 1993 she was elected president of the American Chemical Society.
Free has authored more than 150 professional articles, and co-authored two widely used textbooks in the field. Her accomplishments have been recognized in a number of ways, including the awarding of the ACS Garvan Medal and the Professional Achievement Award in Nuclear Medicine from the American Society for Medical Technology, as well as the establishment of the ACS Helen M. Free Public Outreach Award.
Thursday, February 23, 2023
Rigoberto Hernandez, Gompf Family Professor, Department of Chemistry and Professor, Departments of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, and Materials Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University; Director, Open Chemistry Collaborative in Diversity Equity (OXIDE)
Scientific Talk: “Spiral feedback between computation and experiment at the nano-bio interface”
11:00 am in Lean Lecture Room of Wishart Hall (303 E. University St.)
Dr. Rigoberto Hernandez’s research area can be broadly classified as the theoretical and computational chemistry of systems far from equilibrium with applications to colloidal suspensions, liquid crystals, sustainable nanotechnologies, protein folding and rearrangement, autonomous computing machines, and energetic formulations. The work is presently supported by the NSF, DOE, and Sloan Foundation.
Public lecture: “Managing Inclusive Excellence in Academia”
7:30 pm in Gault Recital Hall of Scheide Music Center (525 E. University St.)
Both lectures are free and open to the public.
Biography: Dr. Hernandez is the recipient of a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award (1997), Research Corporation Cottrell Scholar Award (1999), the Alfred P. Sloan Fellow Award (2000), a Humboldt Research Fellowship (2006-07), the ACS Award for Encouraging Disadvantaged Students into Careers in the Chemical Sciences (2014), the CCR Diversity Award (2015), the RCSA Transformative Research and Exceptional Education (TREE) Award (2016), the Herty Medal (2017), the Stanley C. Israel Regional Award for Advancing Diversity in the Chemical Sciences (2018), and the RCSA IMPACT Award (2020). He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS, 2004), the American Chemical Society (ACS, 2010), the American Physical Society (APS, 2011), and the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC, 2020). He was a Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar in 2015-2016. He previously served as the District IV Director on the American Chemical Society Board of Directors (2014-2019). He currently serves on the Sloan MPHD Advisory Committee, and the AAAS Committee on Opportunities in Science (COOS).
Raychelle Burks, associate professor of chemistry at American University and a popular science communicator who has appeared on TV, in podcasts, and at large genre cons such as DragonCon and GreekGirlCon
Scientific Talk: llicit indications: colorimetric and fluorometric visualizations for forensic science
Public lecture: Monsters, Murder, and Marvel
Malika Jeffries-EL, Ph.D. associate dean, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, associate professor of chemistry and materials science and engineering, Boston University
Scientific Talk: Design and synthesis of organic electronic materials
Public lecture: Taking the Road Less Travelled: My Journey to the Ivory Tower
Geraldine (Geri) Richmond, Presidential Chair of Science and professor of chemistry, University of Oregon
Technical Lecture: Surf, Sink or Swim: Understanding Environmentally Important Processes at Water Surfaces
Public Lecture: The Importance of Global Scientific Engagement
Joseph S. Francisco, President’s Distinguished Professor, Department of Earth and Environmental Science, University of Pennsylvania
Technical Lecture: From Atmospheric Complexes to Aerosols: New Insights into Atmospheric Chemistry
Public Lecture: How We Can Rebuild Trust in Science— And Why We Must
Bassam Z. Shakhashiri,The William T. Evjue Distinguished Chair for the Wisconsin Idea, Department of Chemistry; Director, Wisconsin Initiative for Science Literacy, University of Wisconsin-Madison; President, the American Chemical Society, 2012.
Technical Lecture: Science and Society: Our Opportunities and Responsibilities
Public Lecture: Science Is Fun and The Joy of Learning
Madeleine Jacobs,President & CEO, Council of Scientific Society Presidents, Former Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the American Chemical Society.
Morning Lecture: Ten Lessons of a Lifetime of Science
Evening Lecture: The Two Cultures, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Ned Heindel, H.S. Bunn Chair Professor of Chemistry at Lehigh University and a consultant on drug development for Azevan Pharmaceuticals.
Paul Anderson, Retired Senior Vice President of chemical and physical sciences for the DuPont-Merck Pharmaceuticals Company.
Susan Solomon, Ellen Swallow Richards Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry and Climate Science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Sam Niedbala, Professor of practice in the Chemistry Department at Lehigh University and CEO of DeTect Biosciences LLC.
Catherine Hunt, R&D Director of Innovation Sourcing and Sustainable Technologies at The Dow Chemical Company.
The Department of Chemistry has a wide array of state-of-the-art instrumentation. All of the instruments are intended for use by students in teaching labs and Senior Independent Study.
Two recent acquisitions include a high-resolution quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometer and a 400-MHz nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometer. Both instruments were obtained via grants from the National Science Foundation.