Spring Graduate Course: CHE494 – Science Writing and Communication

CHE 494

Dr. Timothy (Tim) French is an Assistant Professor in the Chemistry Department, and is offering a new course for Graduate students in the spring. We asked him about the new course and why he developed it. Check out our conversation below!

Why did you decide to develop a curriculum for a writing intensive chemistry course?

Over the past few years, the faculty of our department have had many informal conversations on how to improve student writing in our laboratory courses. This led to a brainstorming session between WRD (Writing, Rhetoric and Discourse) and CSH (College of Science and Health) faculyt to discuss effective strategies in teaching writing. As a result of this discussion, I contacted Dr. Sarah Read in WRD, with whom I’ll be team-teaching this course, about creating a graduate course on science writing and communication. We applied for and were awarded a Collaborative Instruction Fellow Stipend by DePaul for the creation of this course. I am very interested in interdisciplinary efforts between chemistry and other fields. Hopefully, this will lead to further collaborations within DePaul, especially between CSH and LASS (Liberal Arts and Social Sciences).

Why are you most excited about teaching this course?

Part of the excitement, comes from the fact that this is not a “typical” science course. Journal articles are, in effect, persuasive pieces of writing. You are making scientific claims about a given system and are trying to convince others of your point using experimental data as evidence. The data doesn’t become “science” until it’s formulated in writing. In the course, we’ll be focusing on the meaning of scientific facts, the formation of scientific arguments, and writing for different audiences. We’re also planning on having a poster session at the end of the quarter for students to better hone their presentation skills.

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CAURS deadline is March 7th!

Hi DePaul Students and Friends,

The Chicago Area Undergraduate Research Symposium (CAURS) is on April 7th, and the deadline for the application is March 7th.

CAURS (http://www.caurs.com/index.html) is a great opportunity for undergraduates to present their research to peers and faculty at local institutions, including DePaul, UChicago, Loyola, IIT, and others.

In previous years, the chemsitry department has participated, and if you would like to present, talk to your advisor and submit an abstract!

If you are not an undergraduate and would like to be an observer or judge, you can also sign up to attend on the website.

We hope to see you there!

Call to Chem Alumi: We need you!


We need you!


We are re-invigorating our commitment to regular advisory board meetings and wanted to see if you are interested in being on the board. The Chemistry Alumni Advisory Board is invited to meet on campus once or twice a year, with the first yearly meeting to be scheduled for mid-to-late fall quarter and the second for late spring quarter; each meeting will be about two hours in length. Our first meeting of 2016 will be May 20th, the same day as our Annual Awards Symposium.

The Alumni Board will make recommendations and offer feedback on ways to improve the chemistry curriculum offerings and program quality, to increase program enrollments (B.S./B.A. and M.S.), to improve the visibility of the Department and the College of Science and Health, and to improve the interaction between the department and alumni. If this interests you, and you think you can attend the May 20th meeting, contact the department as soon as possible and let us know by emailing Dr. Grice, the Development Committee co-chair at kgrice1@depaul.edu. We are also looking for alumni to present at the May 20th Awards Symposium after the Alumni Board Meeting. The presentation should be short (ca. 20 min.) and be relevant for our chemistry majors, such as explaining your career path from DePaul to your current position and how your time at DePaul informed that path.

Before a meeting, the Board will be given a list of specific areas for which the department needs feedback and suggestions. But, feedback and suggestions are of course not limited to the list.

The Board will be briefed by the Chair of the Department on the current status of the department, the faculty and their areas of research, and current students and their accomplishments and career paths. During and after the meeting, the Board will have a chance to meet our faculty and staff as well as the students, and ask questions. All meetings will likely occur on Fridays around early afternoon and run for no more than two hours.

Throughout the year, Board members (and any and all alumni!) are encouraged to give feedback and suggestions. Alumni are also encouraged (but not required) to be a part of the Alumni Share Knowledge (ASK), “a network of committed alumni and friends who serve as career mentors, working with students one-on-one, in practice interviews and at job fairs, and speaking at networking events and open houses throughout the university”. “By sharing accomplishments, insights and connections, the ASK volunteer network can help open important doors for professional growth and networking.” For more information on ASK, check out their website: http://resources.depaul.edu/ask/Pages/default.aspx

We look forward to having you back on campus!

Fun with Blood Spatter

Blood Spatter Analysis and Crime Scene Detection

With direction from Dr. Clementz, following CHE 109 Forensic Chemistry lecture the students investigated experimentally during Halloween week, blood spatter analysis, using different heights, angles, and mathematical functions to determine the angle, speed, and direction of blood spatter. Using Forensic String methods, scaled models, and geometric dimensional analysis, students were able to locate critical areas of convergence to help determine the location and center of origin of where the crime occurred.

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Dr. Anthony G. Clementz
Forensic Chemistry CHE109
Thursday, October 29th, 2015
Autumn Quarter 2015