Science Writing and Communication Poster Session

In the spring quarter of 2016, Dr. Sarah Read (WRD) and Dr. Timothy French (CHE) taught a new course  CHE494 – Science Writing and Communication.  The course was developed to prepare students to be effective writers and communicators in academic and industrial settings.

At the end of the quarter, CHE494 students participated in a poster session, where they designed and presented posters adapted from published literature articles of their choosing. The objective of the poster session was to mimic the experience of attending and presenting a research poster at a conference.

The idea behind this course, which is a product of a Collaborative Instruction Fellow Stipend, is to teach students strategies to confidently tackle rhetorical problems within their domain of expertise, which is chemistry in this case. This is often difficult to accomplish in writing courses or science courses alone. By bringing together subject matter experts in both fields, this team-taught course combines both fields in an immersive classroom experience.

Here’s a look at the end-of-quarter poster session:

What: CHE494 Poster Session
When: Wednesday, June 1, 5-6 pm
Where: McGowan South, 3rd Floor




Alumni Profile: Sophia Robinson

Sophia Robinson DePaul Chemistry AlumniSophia Robinson graduated from DePaul in 2015 with a BS/MS in Chemistry.  Here she reflects back on her academic career at DePaul University’s Department of Chemistry with Associate Professor and Department Chair, Dr. Lihua Jin.

Accomplished: DePaul University, BS/MS Chemistry 2015
Current: University of Utah, Organic chemistry graduate student

Jin: How has your MS study at DePaul helped you reach where you are now, a PhD student at a top research lab in the country?

Robinson: As an undergraduate, I switched my major to chemistry in the winter quarter of my junior year because I was enjoying my biochemistry class so much. I realized I wanted to have a career in chemistry but felt I had not yet put enough time in at the bench to commit to a PhD program. With more experience in the lab, I became confident that I had the passion for research and personal drive to succeed in a PhD program.

Having an MS was somewhat advantageous for my graduate school applications as it showed my commitment to my education and that despite additional years of study after undergrad; I was still passionate about chemistry and research. Chemistry PhD programs are making an investment in their students and as an applicant it is important to demonstrate your passion for research, chemistry, and that you have the drive to not only finish the program but hopefully make important contributions to science during your time there.

Jin: What aspects of your MS study at DePaul have been the most beneficial to you for your growth as a graduate student?

Robinson: By far the most beneficial aspect of my MS study was my research experience. The MS program gave me the opportunity to have my own research project with more independence and also the valuable experience of writing a thesis. Having written a MS thesis, I feel better prepared for how to approach my PhD dissertation and most importantly, stay organized to keep putting the whole story together much easier.

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Faculty Research: Wendy Wolbach – Younger Dryas

Dr. Wendy Wolbach and her research colleagues have proven the connection between a meteor impact and a subsequent anomalous global cooling event known as the “Younger Dryas”. Approximately 12,800 years ago, near the end of the Pleistocene period, a period of cold climates and drought swept the earth. Scientists call this “Big Freeze” the Younger Dryas. This paper ties the impact and cooling events together. Dr. Wolbach and her research colleagues narrowed the date down to a 100-year range sometime between 12,835 and 12,735 years ago using Bayesian statistical analyses of 354 dates taken from 30 sites on more than four continents.


Interested readers can find out more about the supporting data and our methodology at redOrbit and the publication itself can be read at ResearchGate.


Students: Use Your Resources!

Hello DePaul Students, Alumni and Friends! Dr. Grice here (@GriceChemistry). One thing we always tell our students in our classes is to use their resources to help them succeed. We want students to read their texts, come to class, go to course assistant (CA) and instructor office hours, and do practice problems so that they can improve. Everyone learns in a different way, so we want to give students various resources to learn how to tackle the concepts. But it doesn’t stop there. As a student you should be building your resume and networking while here at DePaul, so you can be prepared for your life after college (yes, it exists and we want to help you get there!). There are many resources on the internet that can be extremely valuable for other important parts of a student’s time here at DePaul (and beyond). In addition, if you start doing research or plan to go into a research/bench chemistry position, there are many great resources to help you learn about your projects and tackle the challenges that chemistry research throws at you. Maybe you need to write a thesis or research paper and you want to know how approach writing such a large document.  Maybe that TLC or column is giving you a lot of trouble. There are resources out there to help!

The Catalyst is a home for links to many resources to help you succeed.

We want the The Catalyst to be your go-to place for online resources. You will find many under the Links to Resources tab at the top of the page. We will try to keep the links updated as new tools come up, so go ahead and bookmark it! We’ve sorted them by area where they may be useful to you and have only included links to things that we have read and/or used ourselves. There’s a lot of not-so-great stuff out there on the internet and we want to help you sort through it by giving you this resource. Future posts to The Catalyst will be dedicated to introducing you to many of these. In the meantime, visit Links to Resources and dive in! All the best, -Dr. Grice

Here are a few links that I have put together for you based on input from faculty and staff.

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