Called to Chemistry
Chemistry professor Becky Hoye teaches, conducts research in natural product synthesis, and mentors students in her laboratory.
A Lineage of Chemistry Excellence
Students of professors Dennis Cao and Leah Witus are the academic descendants of a Nobel Laureate in chemistry.
Geometries of Molecules
Marla DeVault is researching atmospheric chemistry, supported by a Beckman Scholarship.
Replacing Heavy Metals
In Professor Cao’s chemistry lab, student researchers are actively seeking organic replacements for hazardous heavy metals.
Research Opportunities with Alumni in Science
Science alumni bring qualified Mac students into their labs for outstanding summer research opportunities.
Working under Macalester alumna Lisa Peterson, Tia Eskridge investigated the chemicals involved in smoking.
Learning with Lasers
Bradley Pearlman ’16, with colleague Ian Wyse ’16 and Professor Tom Varberg, used laser spectroscopy to study the molecule gold sulfide.
Why Mac for Chemistry?
Chemistry faculty and staff foster students’ intellectual development and professional involvement. With several entry levels to the major, depending on high school preparation, all students are challenged to mature as scientific thinkers and practitioners.
The chemistry major is designed, through both lecture and laboratory courses, to facilitate a fundamental understanding of the major areas of chemistry and biochemistry. Our curriculum emphasizes knowledge of current developments in chemistry and experience with modern instruments and contemporary laboratory techniques. Catalysts for learning, faculty members in Macalester’s Chemistry Department are committed to teaching and research in collaboration with students.
In addition to excellence in teaching, a high level of professional involvement is expected of Macalester faculty. Students are often collaborators through independent study opportunities, summer research positions, and the college honors program. During the summer, research stipends are available to enable many students to work full time on their research. Faculty members in the Chemistry Department have recently obtained research grants from such sources as the National Science Foundation, Research Corporation, the Dreyfus Foundation, and the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund.
Currently we have active research programs in the following areas:
The teaching and research laboratories in the Olin-Rice Hall of Science provide ample space for modern teaching and learning. The state-of-the-art design affords an ideal housing for collaborative work and modern scientific equipment.
The cultural, intellectual and scientific resources of the Twin Cities greatly enrich the Macalester environment. Members of the Chemistry Department have collaborated on research with colleagues of the University of Minnesota and 3M. A number of students have been involved in these projects, and many others have participated in internships or part-time employment with local organizations. A weekly Chemistry Seminar series brings industrial and academic guests to the campus and provides a forum for students and faculty to present papers and exchange ideas.
Links for Students
Reflections from Alumni in Biomedicine
- Karla Ballman ’83, PhD
Weill Cornell Medical College
- Gautam Dantas ’00, PhD
Washington University School of Medicine
- Robert Desimone ’74, PhD
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Brooks Edwards ’78, MD
- Douglas Osmon ’82, MD
- Lisa Peterson ’81, PhD
University of Minnesota
- Martha Sarpong ’97, PhD
- Myra (Kueker) Wick ’86, MD, PhD
Every year the Chemistry Department presents awards to outstanding chemistry students.See a list of recipients.
The Chem Club hosts ChemisTea (a weekly tea), Tuesdays at noon in Olin-Rice 372, as well as end-of-the-semester parties. Membership in Chem Club is open to all chemistry students.