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Science Building
CPO 2191

Office Hours:
M–F, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.


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Chemistry Program

Our next departmental speaker will be Elizabeth Cottrell from Smithsonian Institute speaking on October 19, 2018.

ACS Approval

On August 22nd of 2014, our department was informed that we had been unanimously given American Chemical Society Approved Department status from the Committee on Professional Training. This means that we now can certify majors that meet the requirements approved by the ACS, which for our students will be the professional BA track. We are excited to allow our students to gain this important benefit and hope it will catalyze further growth in our program.

About the Department

chemistry department picture

chemistry department picture

chemistry department picture

The Department of Chemistry offers a full set of courses designed to prepare a student for graduate study, medical school, secondary education, or work in the chemical industry. This coursework includes a foundational two-year program with associated labs in general, organic, and quantitative chemistry followed by intensive junior/senior laboratory courses in conjunction with advanced courses in biochemistry, physical, inorganic, and organic chemistry. All of our majors assemble a Chemistry Portfolio over their junior and senior years that insure each student has conducted experiments in all areas of chemistry, has achieved proficiency in all major areas of instrumentation, and both attended and given seminars both inside and outside of Berea College. Our courses are grounded in problem solving using both practical and quantitative reasoning skills. We also are committed to the idea that students should conduct research as part of their undergraduate curriculum. All of our Faculty direct undergraduate research with our students as well as send some of our students to undergraduate research programs at other institutions. We hope to prepare our students to address chemical problems that have come to dominate the headlines of today's news from nuclear to biomedical issues and everything in between. Our students have gone on to work in many fields including chemical industrial research, medicine (including doctors, physician assistants, and pharmacists), and teaching (both college and secondary). Our courses also serve as collateral requirements in Biology, SENS, and Nursing, as well as provide general chemistry and environmental chemistry courses to serve the student body at large. Chemistry is central to many of the major issues that will face society for years to come from energy and waste management to medicine and biotechnology.

Article in Fall 2003 Chemistry Magazine published by the American Chemical Society which describes the Berea College chemistry department.

This Wordpress site will serve as the day to day information about comings and goings in the department of chemistry. Anyone who needs a user account should email Jay Baltisberger or Matt Saderholm. We hope you enjoy the ride.

Employment Opportunities
Visiting Assistant Professor – CHEMISTRY
The Department of Chemistry at Berea College invites applications for a fixed term appointment starting fall 2018 for up to three years. Teaching responsibilities will consist of general chemistry, organic chemistry, general studies science courses, and possibly advanced chemistry classes depending on expertise. This position will give the successful applicant an opportunity to teach in a liberal arts environment under the mentorship of expert chemistry faculty, while simultaneously establishing a research program that will be needed for tenure-track positions at similar institutions. This position is well suited for recent Ph.D. graduates and post-doctoral researchers in chemistry who have a long-term interest in undergraduate faculty positions. The successful applicant will teach and pursue research in Berea College's brand-new Cargill Natural Sciences and Health Building, a $72 million state-of-the-art teaching and research facility.
Berea College is committed in its mission to provide a quality college education to high-ability students of limited economic means, to foster interracial and intercultural education and to serve the Appalachian region. Minority candidates are especially encouraged to apply. Interested applicants should send a curriculum vitae, graduate and undergraduate academic transcripts, a statement of teaching philosophy, research proposal, and two letters of recommendation to Consideration of applicants will begin mid-March; applications will be accepted until the position is filled.
Berea College achieved national distinction as the first coeducational and interracial college in the South. With an emphasis on service to the people of Appalachia and beyond, Berea enrolls 1,600 students from 40 states and 70 countries. The College has a longstanding commitment to interracial education; here, people of different races seek to learn from and about each other, while also living together. Berea is among the most racially diverse private liberal arts colleges in the United States. It admits only students whose families are unable to afford the high cost of tuition and awards each of them a Tuition Promise Scholarship, meaning no student ever pays tuition.  Berea’s students excel in the College’s supportive but demanding academic environment, and many are the first in their families to graduate from college. The College is one of nine federally recognized Work Colleges, and all students hold a position in which they work 10-12 hours per week. Washington Monthly Magazine has consistently ranked Berea in the top 3 of Liberal Arts Colleges for its success in educating and graduating academically talented, low-income students who become service-oriented leaders in their professions and communities; in 2016 and 2017, the magazine ranked it number 1.
Located where the Bluegrass Region meets the Cumberland Mountains, the town of Berea (pop. 15,000) lies forty miles south of Lexington and is approximately two hours from Cincinnati, Louisville, and Knoxville. More information about Berea College is available at
Berea College, in light of its mission in the tradition of impartial love and social equality, welcomes all people of the earth to learn and work here.

Laboratory Manager and Instructor – CHEMISTRY
The Laboratory Manager will teach courses in the Chemistry Department and support the various Cargill Building academic department laboratory programs (Biology, Chemistry, Nursing, and Physics), including the promotion and support of a strong safety culture in Academic Division 1. This position will oversee the day-to-day responsibilities for the maintenance of the chemical inventory system and hazardous waste generation from laboratory activities and supervise two chemical inventory student labor positions. Depending on the Laboratory Manager’s expertise and the needs of Division 1, this employee will also take on other tasks related to ensuring the smooth operation of academic laboratory classes and research experiences. This positon will report to and assist the Chair of Academic Division 1 providing professional knowledge and expertise in the operation and support of laboratory safety programs and initiatives and guide laboratories in complying with regulatory agency requirements and college polices based on best management practices. This position will work closely with the Environmental Health and Safety Department providing regular updates on the status of safety and compliance issues related to laboratory safety, chemical inventory, chemical waste management, ventilation issues, and other related topics as needed.


  • Teach in the Chemistry Department (four-five teaching credits). This includes two teaching credits in the fall and two in the spring. Oversee and maintain the chemical inventory system and laboratory safety programs, including improving the inventory systems usefulness and capabilities.
  • Assure compliance with Berea College’s Chemical Hygiene Plan including compliance with OSHA, DOT, and Hazardous Waste (RCRA) regulatory requirements as they relate to laboratory activities
  • Collaborate with laboratory faculty, staff and students to identify safety needs, develop standard operating procedures (SOPs) and help implement programs and initiatives that will address those needs.
  • Develop and provide training to laboratory personnel on laboratory safety related topics. Collaborate with laboratory faculty and students to tailor training to better meet the needs of the department.
  • Serve on the Campus Safety Committee representing laboratory safety practices and concerns
  • Work directly with selected Department Chairs (those with laboratory classes, Biology, Chemistry, Nursing, and/or Physics) to enhance the experience of students in specific classes with labs.

Education required to ensure success in this position: Minimum requirement is a master’s degree in chemistry or related science. PhD is preferred. Experience required to ensure success in this position: Experience in academic or research laboratory environment. Prior teaching experience, while not required, is preferred. Berea College job listing

Historical Information

The chemistry department has undergone many changes over the course of the history of the college. The first science instruction began at the turn of the century (circa 1900) and grew slowly. By the mid 60's we had three faculty members, Julian Capps, Gus Levey and Thomas Beebe. These three men combined to serve Berea College for over 100 total years of service time. Thomas Beebe was the first of the chemists at Berea to institute an undergraduate research program in the mid 60s. In the early 80's the department expanded to four fulltime members. By the late 90's we had embraced an active biochemistry requirement and had added a half-time member in the sustainability and environmental studies area.