Major Areas for Research at SJC

While our Chemistry students are given hands-on experience both in the classroom and through internships, the Department of Chemistry also offers opportunities for students to work alongside faculty members during student research.


CHM 455: Research in Chemistry

SJC’s Department of Chemistry recognizes the importance of having experience in research. As a result, CHM 455: Research in Chemistry is part of our Chemistry majors’ curriculum. During CHM 455, students conduct research projects on some special problems in chemistry. Students make a thorough search of the literature and carry out the experiments needed to reach a conclusion.  


Thermodynamics and Molecular Modeling

Dr. Rob Pfaff offers student research opportunities in Thermodynamics and Molecular Modeling. Thermodynamics is the study of energy changes in chemical reactions. In the past, students have studied the energy availability of coal and the caloric content of foods. Molecular modeling involves using sophisticated computer software to calculate the energies of chemicals and reactions as a way to deduce mostly likely structures and reaction pathways.

Inorganic Chemistry

Dr. Anne Gull often sponsors student research. Most recently, her students have studied kinetics of gas formation reactions. Other students have studied organic and inorganic synthesis. Dr. Gull is interested in Inorganic Chemistry, Chemical Education research, and History of Chemistry. She enjoys working with students and seeing them truly understand what the research experience is like.

Biochemistry

Dr. Cheryl Wistrom often sponsors student research or independent studies in Biochemistry. Most recently, several of her students extracted potential anti-tumor chemicals from the bark of the Paw-Paw tree. They then assayed the potency of these chemicals against plant tumors. Another of her students studied tablet dissolution rates to better predict the rate at which tablets release medicines.  

15% higher graduation rates are seen in students who do research or internships compared to students who do not.

 

Explore the Core
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  • Start Your Major Freshman Year

    Like Elementary Education major Brittany Cooper ’12, you start your major as soon as you walk in the door, so you will have four years of knowledge and experience in your field.You can even change your mind about your major and still graduate on time with lots of experience.

    Core and the major work in harmony to develop the cognitive skills requisite for success in a competitive, global society. Students better understand the forces that shape the future by exploring the past. They discuss contemporary events; analyze the impact of science on our understanding of humanity and the universe; and investigate diverse cultures and world civilizations. 

  • Mentorship

    Small colleges offer you personal attention; SJC professors, such as Communication Professors Fred and Sally Berger, do more for you—they serve as mentors. Studies show that having a mentor leads to success in your field. Alumni often tell us how their professors not only played a major role in their success, but also became lifelong friends.  If you are undecided about what to major in, we help you decide.

  • High Quality Academics

    In the Core Program, you will be inspired to debate, analyze, and solve problems. Discussion of culture and society, the modern world, and Christian Humanism are just a few highlights of the Program. New perspectives will be gained, your worldview will expand, and you will graduate from SJC as a well rounded, highly marketable person.

  • Leadership

    You get more deeply involved at SJC, so you get more meaningful experiences that prepare you for career and life. LaMichelle Sanders ’14, for example, has spent two summers helping Chinese study abroad students adapt to life in the U.S. and at SJC. If you want to start a club or activity that doesn’t exist, we encourage you to start one. At SJC, prepare yourself for what you want to do in life.

  • Real-life Skills

    Because of the skills you develop by having the Core Program interact with your major for four years in addition to internships, job shadowing, and service learning, you get hands-on experience in preparation for your career or graduate school. Students Hanna Kane ’14, Emily Baird ’15, and Alyssa Guarnaccia ’14 collect food in the SJC hoophouse to be distributed on campus. You will also get four years of analytical, writing, and speaking skills that will serve you well for the rest of your life.

  • Start Your Major Freshman Year

    Get a jump start on your career and have your resume ready to go at graduation.  

  • Mentorship

    Small colleges offer you personal attention; SJC professors do more for you—they serve as mentors.

  • High Quality Academics

    The Core Program is all about you and your role in the world.

     

  • Leadership

    You get more deeply involved at SJC, so you get more meaningful experiences that prepare you for career and life.

  • Real-life Skills

    Get real-life experience and become an excellent communicator.