Chemistry and Biochemistry News

Chemistry senior Lindsay Most completed her capstone last fall at Friends Medical Laboratory. She is still working there, with a standing invitation to join the team full time when she completes her education. She had the following to say about her experience:

From day one, I was given a list of tasks, shadowed supervisors and laboratory technicians to learn the ropes, and then was in charge of running the samples efficiently and correctly in the TLC unit to produce reliable results. In the GC/LC unit, I was responsible for extracting drugs from patient samples using standard operating procedures for solid phase extraction and by observing fellow technicians. I handled hazardous materials such as fentanyl calibrators, and prepared batches of samples for extractions and injection for liquid chromatography. I was able to apply my chemistry knowledge and laboratory skills gained at Stevenson University in a professional laboratory setting, in order to excel in the TLC and GC/LC unit. By working on an individually assigned fentanyl project, I was able to analyze data and determine additional steps that would yield in greater, more accurate results.

The experience gained from Stevenson and this capstone experience allowed me to become employed and to pursue a career path that I have been considering for a long time, which is drug analysis. While I am still determining whether to pursue a passion for ballistics analysis, I know that I am comfortable with and thoroughly enjoy identifying illicit drugs in patient samples and that I really enjoy using liquid chromatography and analyzing data, all thanks to this fantastic opportunity.”

Biochemistry (BS’17) graduate Courtney Aceto visited juniors and seniors in class this week. The course, taught by Dr. Ward, is Career Development in Chemistry, a course designed to help students get that first job: polishing up their resume, prepare for their first interview, writing that personal statement for graduate school, or exploring non-traditional careers in chemistry and biochemistry. Today Courtney came to talk to students about her path and to offer advice. Courtney’s story was recently featured in the Chemistry blog. The course, now in its second year, is highly praised by students, and it gave them the edge they needed. 100 % of the seniors who took the course in Spring 2017 had a major-related job withing 6 months of graduation.

PKAL, or Project Kaleidoscope is a program sponsored by the Association of American Colleges and Universities designed to empower STEM faculty in order to grow the number of graduates in the STEM fields. This year’s PKAL Regional Network conference was hosted by Stevenson’s Fine School of the Sciences and several chemistry faculty members attended and presented at the one day conference held over spring break. The theme of the conference was Cultural Responsiveness in Fulfilling the Mission of Preparing a Global STEM Workforce. Dr. Dwyer and Dr. Burkett presented and Dr. Ward served as a panel moderator.

After graduating from SU with her BS in Chemistry in 2014, Harriet Adutwum was accepted to pharmacy school at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. She graduated with her Doctorate in Pharmacy in 2017 and is now working as a pharmacist at Rite Aid in Dayton, Ohio. Harriet reports, “It is a wonderful experience being a pharmacist. I love knowing that I am contributing to someone’s well-being.”

With the arrival of midterms, Stevenson’s School of the Sciences is already planning for the summer! If you know some middle schoolers with a thing for science and math, then Stevenson is the place to be from June 25-29. Campers work in our actual science labs with our actual professors. This is a day camp, with activities ranging from robotics to healthcare to environmental science. The last day has an extra fun activity like water rockets, scavenger hunts or making liquid nitrogen ice cream! For more information and to register, click here.