Undergraduate Research

As a chemistry major, you’ll be involved in independent research projects.

Projects are designed in close collaboration with a faculty mentor to coincide with your particular interests and goals. Through this advanced theoretical or laboratory work, you’ll be able to demonstrate the cumulative knowledge you will have gained in the course of your undergraduate studies. Many of our students present their research at local seminars and national conferences, gaining valuable experience and exposure to the scientific community.

The Capstone Experience

All chemistry majors at Elmhurst College complete a research project in collaboration with a faculty advisor.

The research project is a capstone experience that consists of three courses:

The student begins a research project by locating and reading background literature and creating a project plan. The course emphasizes research ethics, information literacy and written communication skills in chemistry.

The student completes the bulk of the experimental portion of his or her research project. This course is designed to prepare the student for the level of independent work required in industry, science teaching or post baccalaureate study, and culminates in a final research paper.

Students share the results of their research projects with the larger community. The course emphasizes oral communication and visual presentation skills. Students give research seminars and poster presentations to peers and outside constituencies.

Recent Faculty-Student Research Collaborations

Dr. Michelle Applebee

  • Elizabeth Jamka and Rachel Trumpy, “Contaminant studies of run-off water samples from permeable paver and asphalt parking lots”
  • Micaela Shawlee, “Determination of Nitrate in Ground Water Using Various Methods”

Dr. Ami Johanson

  • Kelsi Alberts, “Inhibition of Mushroom Tyrosinase by Picrolam”
  • Kathryn Pilson, “Mushroom Tyrosinase: An Experiment for Undergraduate Biochemistry Students”

Dr. Kimberly Lawler-Sagarin

  • Corianne Randstrom, “Computational Investigation of Layered Metal Oxides”
  • Galina Nikolova, Mike Zurawski and Derek Fleming, “Studies of 6′-bromoindirubin, a Minor Component of the Historic Dye Tyrian Purple”

Dr. Eugene Losey

  • Bonnie Micelli and Michelle Fleetwood, “The Heck Reaction: A Green Synthesis”
  • Joshua Coleman, “A Green Approach to the Suzuki Reaction”

Dr. Colleen Munro-Leighton

  • Dess Cook and Madalyn Snyder, “Synthesis of Substituted Molecules for Easy Carbon-Hydrogen Bond Cleavage”
  • Drew Cesta, Gerald Mueller and Aliyah Ahmed, “Sequestration of Carbon Dioxide: Synthesis and Characterization of Amino Acid Salts”

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