At Lakeland College, learning chemistry means living chemistry. Once you dive into our interactive program, you'll quickly realize that here, you are one of a kind — not one of many. "I know every one of my students personally," says Brian Frink, Lakeland College's award-winning Lakeland College Associate Professor of Chemistry and Physics. "If you want that kind of attention so you can become the best chemist you want to be, then I would say you need to come to Lakeland."
Small Classes, Big Rewards
Yes, when it comes to student-professor interaction, you might say our chemistry is strong. At Lakeland College, you won't sit in a large auditorium with a couple hundred of your peers, robotically taking notes while a professor lectures through a microphone.
Here, with the encouragement of Frink, you'll be involved, engaged and invested. The goal is to help you understand chemistry rather than just memorize chemistry or survive chemistry.
And that's the really great thing about Lakeland's chemistry program. Students are encouraged — no, expected — to apply what they learn in a very real-world way. All of our graduates successfully carry out research projects they design in the first semester of their senior year.
"By the time they're done, they've all had a mini-research project," Frink says proudly. "They can talk to prospective employers about that, or bring it up while interviewing for graduate programs or pre-professional programs. They can discuss the troubles they had and how they solved them. It's everything an employer or graduate school would want in a student."
Chemistry at Lakeland
Through Lakeland's interactive approach, chemistry students are taught all of the fundamentals and core principles so vital to this discipline. Our students:
- Understand and work with the central concepts of chemical reactions, including the thermodynamics, kinetics, syntheses and mechanisms that produce those reactions
- Formulate and solve problems by applying the scientific method, particularly within a laboratory setting
- Effectively communicate scientific knowledge to varied audiences through multiple methods (e.g. writing as if for scientific journals, formal and informal presentations)
- Perform lab practices safely and professionally, employing up-to-date computer and instrumentation technology
- Work effectively as part of a team or on independent projects
Name: Amber Koenig
Hometown: Howards Grove
Title: Ph.D. graduate student, organic chemistry
Graduate School: University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
Until just a few months before graduating from high school, Amber planned to attend the University of Minnesota – a mammoth school with more than 50,000 undergrad students.
Amber had taken an organic chemistry class at Lakeland during high school, and knew she would be embraced while being challenged if she chose to continue her education here.
“I think choosing Lakeland is probably the best decision I ever made,” she says today. “At Lakeland I was far more than just a number. I felt like I was truly part of a family, which was a unique experience that I would not have had anywhere else. Every faculty member, even those outside math and science, genuinely cared and provided so much guidance. From the time I stepped foot on campus, everyone was constantly giving me advice and opportunities to help prepare me for my career goals. Without these amazing opportunities I don't think I would have been nearly as prepared or as successful in graduate school.”
Indeed, Amber thrived at Lakeland and continues to soar after graduating with a double major in chemistry and math in 2011. She recently earned a prestigious three-year National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship in support of her doctoral work at North Carolina. The fellowship will provide Koenig with funding to cover tuition and fees as she works toward her doctorate in organic chemistry. She’s in the second year of a five-year program, the focus of which is gene expression and how it relates to various forms of cancer.
A typical day for Amber includes 10 hours of research, much of which involves synthesizing molecules and studying reactions in the lab. She’s also a teaching assistant responsible for two lab sections each semester, and that experience is valuable, because Amber would like to some day teach at a small college.
For the next few years, however, she’ll be focused on her exciting, important research.
“I think it’s really cool being a grad student and having the freedom to do my own research,” Amber says. “I’m learning things nobody else knows yet. I’m not learning from a textbook; I’m actually creating new knowledge.”
Listed below are just some of the jobs or graduate school positions Lakeland College chemistry students from recent graduating classes have landed:
- Chemist, Kohler Co.
- Laboratory technician, Aerotek
- High school teacher, Two Rivers School District
- Director of operations, Steadfast Networks
- Graduate school, Ph.D., University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
- Chemist, Aldrich Chemical
- Process Biotechnician, Quincy Biosciences
Chemistry Major (49 semester hours)
For Education* and Non-education Majors
- CHM 131 - Principles of Chemistry I (4 smester hours)
- CHM 132 - Principles of Chemistry II (4 semester hours)
- CHM 203 - Organic Chemistry: Short Course
- CHM 204 - Organic Purification Techniques (1 semester hour)
- CHM 301 - Instrumental Analysis
- CHM 320 - Intensive Organic Chemistry (4 semester hours)
- CHM 322 - Thermodynamics and Kinetics
- CHM 390 - Senior Project Design (WI) (2 semester hours)
- CHM 411 - Quantum Chemistry
- CHM 495 - Senior Project (WI)
- MAT 231 - Calculus I (4 semester hours)
- MAT 242 - Calculus II (4 semester hours)
- PHY 251 - Physics I (4 semester hours)
- PHY 252 - Physics II (4 semester hours)
- An additional Chemistry (CHM) or Biochemistry (BIOC) course of at least 3 semester hours numbered at or above 300.
* To qualify for Early Adolescence through Adolescence (grades 6-12) teaching certification, a student must complete the courses listed above, the Early Adolescence through Adolescence Professional Sequence, and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction's (DPI) statutory requirements.