Western Illinois University: Macomb Campus
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About the Department of Chemistry
Chemistry has seen enormous growth in the past 30 years with many new applications in biotechnology, materials, medicine, nanotechnology, environmental health, alternative fuels, and forensic science. New information is rapidly transferred from research laboratories to practical applications.
The Department of Chemistry offers a unique, friendly atmosphere of faculty mentorship to our students. Our faculty are very active researchers with knowledge of the latest applications of chemistry. The chemistry faculty seek to involve students in everything they do!
- Our students gain from individualized advisement and mentorship from our faculty.
- Chemistry students get frequent one on one training and advisement through informal interactions with our faculty in the research labs. Chemistry research lends itself well to mentorship. In our smaller department the chemistry faculty frequently mentor chemistry major every year. They get to know the students, including their goals and aspirations, on a personal level.
- Students have the opportunity to do science! They don’t just learn about it.
- Most of our faculty either presently hold, or recently held, research grants funded by the National Science Foundation, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Research Corporation, Department of Defense, Department of Energy, NASA, EPA, and /or research contracts from pharmaceutical companies or biotech industries. All of these research grants and contracts involve students as “doers and thinkers” in novel, cutting edge research. Students involved in research learn techniques and instrument use not normally assessable in a large instructional setting. Present projects involve development of new anti-cancer agents, development of new vaccines, development of new drug delivery systems, forensic analysis and toxicological studies of explosive residues, novel new nanotechnology- encapsulation delivery systems, development of new food preservation methods, green chemistry methodologies, environmental impact of agricultural chemicals in drinking water, examination of herbal materials, the development of new methods of instrumental analysis, and many more. Students become discoverers of new science in these studies.
- Students get to travel!
- Our students travel to state, regional, national, and international conferences. These trips are funded by faculty research grants. The students present their research data, mix with and meet chemists from across the US around the world. Our students have made 47 research presentations in the past few years at the national American Chemical Society or the national American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology meetings in Boston, Atlanta, Chicago, New Orleans, San Diego Washington DC, and San Francisco.
- Our students become published authors!
- Our students have been listed as coauthors with the chemistry faculty in over 100 refereed journal articles during the past four years alone. Most of these have been in nationally or internationally known journals, such as the Journal of Organic Chemistry, the Journal of Inorganic Chemistry, the Journal of the American Chemical Society, Organic Letters, Applications in Biotechnology and Microbiology, Experimental Biology, the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, and many, many more.
- Our students have impressive resumes by the time they graduate!
- With the opportunities our students get to get involved in research, travel to scientific conferences, make professional presentations, and become published authors of articles in major scientific journals, our student often have impressive resumes by the time they complete their degree. In addition, our students, meet, greet, and network with other students, and with chemistry professionals during the many state, regional, and national conferences they attend. In addition, the national American Chemical Society meeting hosts career fairs, where human resource people from chemical companies, have seminars on resume building, and how to act at an interview, all free to registered students. Many chemical, pharmaceutical, and biotech companies actually contact students registered for the national American Chemical Society meetings, ask them to send them resumes, and set up interviews to take place during the conference.
- Our students gain top flight careers!
- Our students frequently get jobs in state, regional, and national crime labs. Some of our chemistry students get positions in pharmaceutical companies, such as Bristol Myers-Squibb or Galaxo-Smithkline. Some of our alumni have risen to top level positions in the chemical industry, such as the head of the research division at Eastman Chemical. Many of our alumni are now physicians, dentists, and pharmacists, as well.