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.
in Fall 2003 Chemistry
published by the American Chemical Society which describes the Berea College
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.