Chemistry students bridge theory with practice
Lakeland’s analytical chemistry students got several immersive opportunities at local companies in the fall to apply the skills they learned in the classroom to real-life scenarios.
Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Food Safety & Quality Leili Afsah-Hejri, Ph.D., led her students through unique academic adventures at several companies, including Millipore Sigma and Sargento.
These were not your average school trips. Lakeland students performed tests on actual samples, collected data and analyzed real scenarios, giving them a chance to see the relevance of their classroom learning in the working world. Students also get a glimpse of the multitude of career paths available to them post-graduation.
“At Lakeland, we believe that education extends beyond the four walls of a classroom,” Afsah-Hejri said. “This belief is especially represented in our analytical chemistry course, where we blend the rigorous and intricate world of chemistry with hands-on, explorative experiences. Our goal is to turn what is often perceived as a tough and dry subject into an exciting journey of discovery.”
Cooperative Education experiences form the core of Lakeland’s FSQ program, and the trips help students make connections that can lead to summer internships or paid Co-Op experiences. For many, these opportunities pave the way to future employment.
“We are extremely grateful for the strong partnerships we have built with companies in our area,” Afsah-Hejri said. “These relationships are the cornerstone of our commitment to providing students with education that is both dynamic and applicable. It is this blend of theory and practice, of learning and experiencing, that sets Lakeland apart. Our students don't just learn about chemistry; they live it.”