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Teaching and Research

All chemistry majors are strongly encouraged to participate in a research experience during their undergraduate years.

Chemistry faculty members maintain vigorous undergraduate research programs that include both summer and academic year opportunities. Information about Current Research Projects in the Macalester Science Division is available on the Science and Research Office (SRO) website.

Summer research is an integral part of the chemistry major for students anticipating entry into the chemical industry, graduate school, or medical school. The Science And Research Office (SRO) also has information about summer research opportunities in a variety of industrial companies, as well as at other universities and colleges throughout the U.S. and worldwide. Joan Toohey, director of SRO, is available for individual consultation.

Over the past five years, fully 75% of our chemistry majors have gained research experience as undergraduates, 85% of them doing research at Macalester itself.

Student-Faculty Joint Publications

  • Professor Ronald Brisbois, Alexandra Bergan (Century Community College), Aubrey Ellison ’12 (Plymouth, Minn.), Percy Griffin ’13 (Tema, Ghana), Kent Hackbarth ’13 (Wausau, Wis.), and Steven Larson ’13 (Ripon, Wis.) co-authored “Thermal, Non-catalyzed Huisgen Cycloaddition for the Preparation of 4,5-bis(trimethylsilyl)-1H-1,2,3,-triazoles,” which appeared in Tetrahedron Letters in 2012.
  • Professor Paul Fischer, Michelle Neary ’10 (Minnetonka, Minn.), Laura Avena ’14 (Cesis, Latvia), Kevin P. Sullivan ’12 (Shoreview, Minn.), and Kent Hackbarth ’13 (Wausau, Wis.) co-authored “Dicarbonyl{[2-(diphenylphosphino) ethyl]cyclopentadienyl} Group VI MetalHydrides, Halides, and Anions: Precursors to Olefin Epoxidation Catalysts,” which appeared in Organometallics in 2012.
  • Professor Keith Kuwata, Professor Patrick Dussault, two other collaborators at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Solaire Finkenstaedt-Quinn ’10 (Eau Claire, Wis.), Ilhan Findik ’09 (Kyrenia, Cyprus), and Emily Sliz ’08 (Dripping Springs, Texas) co-authored “Generation of Singlet Oxygen from Fragmentation of Monoactivated 1,1- Dihydroperoxides,” which appeared in the Journal of Organic Chemistry in 2012.
  • Professor Kathryn Splan, K.F. Speer ’10 (Philadelphia, Pa.), C.L. Cosimini ’09 (St. Paul, Minn.) co-authored “Characterization of a Bivalent, Smac-based Peptide that features Sequences Specific to both the BIR2 and BIR3 Domains of the X-linked Inhibitor of Apoptosis Protein,” which appeared in Biopolymers: Peptide Science in 2012.
  • Professor Kathryn Splan, P.K. Goldberg ’11 (Ann Arbor, Mich.) and T.J. Pundsack co-authored “Photophysical Investigation of Neutral and Diprotonated Free-base Bis(Arylethynyl)-porphyrins,” which appeared in Journal of Physical Chemistry A in 2011.
  • Professors Thomas Varberg and Keith Kuwata co-authored with Andrew Bendelsmith ’13 (West St. Paul, Minn.) a paper titled “Measurement of the Compressibility Factor of Gases: A Physical Chemistry Laboratory Experiment,” which appeared in the Journal of Chemical Education in 2011.
  • Professor Keith Kuwata, Brianna Kujala ’06 (Hastings, Minn.), Zachary Morrow ’08 (Niarada, Mont.), and Elena Tonc ’13 (Osijek, Croatia) co-authored “Quantum Chemical and RRKM/Master Equation Studies of Cyclopropene Ozonolysis,” which appeared in Computational and Theoretical Chemistry in 2011.
  • Professor Rebecca Hoye, Gretchen Anderson, ‘05 (Minnetonka, Minn.), Susan Brown ’07 (Kingston, Jamaica), and Erica Schultz ’08 (Owatonna, Minn.) co-authored “Total Synthesis of Clathculins A and B” which appeared in the Journal of Organic Chemistry in 2010.