Chem Club General Body Meeting Thursday 4/28

DePaul’s Chem Club’s General Body Meeting will occur on Thursday 4/28 from 1-2 pm, tentatively assigned to McGowan South, room 105. Chem club is a student organization based on a common interest in all things related to chemistry. All students interested in chemistry are welcome to attend and participate, you don’t need to be a chemistry major!

During the meeting, there will be elections to select the leadership for Chem Club  as well as planning various events such as fundraising, outreach, and research opportunities.

This meeting is a great opportunity to meet fellow students and help plan fun events related to chemistry!

For more information, contact Jay Bhanot ( If you can’t come to the meeting, but want to be involved, email Jay to get on the mailing list for the next meeting/event.

Chem Club Poster


Alumni Highlight: Kara Brasovan

Dr. Jin recently interviewed one of our alumni, Kara Brasovan. Kara has taken an interesting and exciting career path, enrolling in Law School after her time in the department. It’s important to recognize there are many paths we can take in our careers, and a chemistry major doesn’t limit you to a “standard” chemistry profession.
Here are a few key points from their discussions:
1. What do you suggest to new students and current students in order to help them benefit as much as possible from DePaul and their department?
As young adults, we are trying to create a path to succeed in life and we are still trying to figure out who we are. Choosing the right major and career for ourselves is a difficult task. I felt that the professors I grew close with were able to see that path and realize who I was before I did.  They were then able to help me find myself, choose my major and apply to law school. DePaul faculty dedicate themselves to knowing their students. 
To any new and current students, I suggest to get to know your professors, listen to their suggestions and really take to heart what they have to say. If you really enjoy a topic or a professor, you should be proactive. Ask to do research in the department, go to office hours to discuss topics of interest or just make general appointments and meetings to discuss life. Utilize the best resources you are given at a small department- the professors who know you and see you every day. 
I changed my major 3 or 4 times before I finally decided on Chemistry. I had no idea what career I really wanted. I felt the advice I was given by the professors who watched my grow throughout my college career was the most beneficial.
Kara presents her research at the Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Technology Undergraduate Research Showcase on November 9, 2012.

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Student Research Presented at CAURS!

We were very proud this weekend of our students attending CAURS to present their research! CAURS is the Chicago Area Undergraduate Research Symposium, which is in its 12th year and includes many Chicago-Area institutions. It is organized by and designed for, undergraduate researchers across many fields. This year it was at the Museum of Science and Industry, which was a really great venue.

If you have never been to CAURS, it’s free, and any DePaul student can go present (we saw some Bio dept folks there presenting and judging too!). We also had observers (Dr. Grice) attend and graduate students go to the event as judges (Miles and Edgar).

There is a keynote speaker each year. Last year was Sam Kean and this year was Marius Stan (a researcher at Argonne in addition to an actor, playing Bodgan on Breaking Bad). Dr. Stan gave a great opening keynote presentation that was really entertaining.

Our students presented their posters to graduate students and faculty judges and were given feedback to help them develop their research communication skills.

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CAURS generally happens in April every year. Put it on your calendar for next year to come and support DePaul student research!


Advancing Teaching Chemistry at DePaul



As a undergraduate-focused department, we spend a lot of time thinking about how we can improve our teaching and develop new improvements to our curriculum. We have been recently incorporating a variety of changes that we wanted to highlight.

First of all, seven of the current 15 full time chemistry faculty members have in the past 3-4 years applied for and received the DePaul Online Teaching Series (DOTS) training to become successful facilitators of online learning.  All seven have since taught hybrid and/or fully online or flipped-classroom courses. Among the courses taught as hybrid are CHE130 – General Chemistry I (Dr. Carey Southern), CHE 132 – General Chemistry II and CHE134- General Chemistry III ( Dr. Quinetta Shelby), CHE 204 – Analytical Chemistry (Dr. Wendy Wolbach), CHE 330 – Capstone (Dr. Jennifer Meyer), CHE 346 – Principles of Biochemistry (Dr. Lihua Jin), and CHE470 – Molecular Dynamics (Dr. Rick Niedziela). Courses that have been taught fully online include CHE 202 (Dr. Wolbach) and CHE 346 (Dr. Jin). CHE 342 – Biochemistry II was also recently taught in a flipped-classroom format by Dr. Justin Maresh.

In addition, several of these faculty have also added online components to some of their in-person courses to boost student learning.  Other faculty members who have not received the DOTS training such as Drs. Kyle Grice, Paul Vadola and Graham Griffin have also created online materials for their general or organic chemistry students with very positive feedback from the students.

Dr. Southern and a student worker also worked over summer 2015 to create materials for students who are preparing for the Chemistry Placement Test (CPT).  Dr.Southern applied for and received a competitive QIC grant for that effort.

At the masters level, Dr. French recently created a new class focused on science education, which we highlighted earlier in the catalyst.

We are always working on improving and advancing our curriculum and we look forward to great advances in the future as the landscape of education continues to change!

Chem Club Movie Night: Poisoner’s Handbook

The chem club is showing the PBS special “The Poisoner’s Handbook” tonight, which covers the history of forensic science and toxicology in the early 1900’s in New York City. The location is tentatively assigned as room 108 in McGowan South. Come on by and check it out!


Chem Club Movie Night