The Department of Chemistry

Our mission is to advance discovery in the chemical sciences. We strive to provide our students with a breadth of education in modern chemistry and biochemistry, and with a variety of opportunities to explore specialized education and research in greater depth. Over the last year, the department has begun several new initiatives while building on our established teaching and research programs.  At the undergraduate level, we adopted a new approach to the delivery of General Chemistry (Achm 120).  Beginning last summer, we offered a preparative on-line course ALEKS, an interactive learning, outcome-driven program to newly matriculated students.  On the first day of the fall term, the 718 students enrolled in Achm 120 were given an assessment test so that we could offer four small sections to 100 freshmen who might benefit from the greater attention and help in smaller sections.  At the end of the semester, our effort in improving students’ learning experience and retention has really paid off.  We will continue this project in the fall of 2018, because we strongly believe better delivery of this historically difficult, gateway course and stronger interaction with our students could significantly improve our freshmen retention rate.  Last fall, we admitted another fantastic class of graduate students.  The total enrollment in our graduate program has reached a new zenith, 115 students, including 70 doctoral candidates, 31 MS students, 7 BS/MS, 5 Applied MS and 2 non-degree students.  Our students continue to be actively engaged in research, and are publishing papers, presenting at conferences, and winning both awards and pre-doctoral fellowships. We welcomed two new members to the department this fall:  Professor Jeremy Feldblyum, a polymer/materials chemist, and Ms. Stephanie Waltersdorf, our new department secretary. The faculty continue their excellent work in the classroom and lab. In addition to fulfilling our teaching mission with strong passion and commitment, the faculty are publishing and presenting top-notch research work on a range of diverse topics.  Overall, we have never been stronger – one piece of evidence in support of that contention is the improvement in the US News ranking of both the undergraduate and graduate programs.  But, we are resolved to continue to build a better department!

I encourage you to learn about us by exploring this site and by arranging a visit to our Department.

Li Niu
Professor and Chair

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