Chemistry

Saint Michael's Chemistry

The chemistry curriculum at Saint Michael's College combines small class sizes, excellent faculty and personal attention with the opportunity to gain practical, hands-on experience with laboratory instrumentation early in your college career.

Our program is certified by the American Chemical Society – a designation that is important to both graduate schools and employers.

A bachelor's degree in chemistry prepares you for employment in government and industrial laboratories or for further study in graduate or professional schools. By choosing appropriate electives, a major in chemistry can lead to a career in medicine, dentistry, allied health sciences, law or the business world.

For many years, chemistry majors have enjoyed a 100% acceptance rate to professional and graduate schools. Recently, our alumni have attended such schools as Johns Hopkins University, Dartmouth, University of Virginia and Georgetown University.

Our program focuses on preparing you to succeed in industry and academia by helping you develop the skills to solve chemical problems, to read meaningfully and to utilize properly chemical literature, to work effectively and safely in the laboratory, to communicate scientific ideas and discoveries both orally and in writing, to function well as a member of a team, and to make ethical decisions in the area of science.

Chemistry is the study of matter and its changes. As a chemistry major, you will start with the science and math courses that provide the background necessary to study chemistry. Those courses include General Chemistry I &II, Organic Chemistry I &II, Calculus I &II, College Physics I &II, and Integrated Chemical Analysis. In these introductory chemistry courses, you will gain a broad overview of the many different topics in chemistry, including stoichiometry, bonding, gases, the structure of atoms and molecules, acid-base theory, organic synthesis, error analysis, ethical issues in science, and quantitative analysis. Then you will go on to study further in the areas of inorganic chemistry, physical chemistry, biochemistry and chemical instrumentation, where you will learn about thermodynamics, kinetics, quantum chemistry and spectroscopy, the structure and formation of coordination compounds, group theory, some of the major categories of structures that make up biological systems (including peptides/proteins, carbohydrates and nucleic acids), and the chemical instrumentation that can be used to study the structure and function of molecules.

As a senior, you will research a chemistry topic in great depth as part of your capstone course, Senior Seminar. You will have two options: you may either prepare a major report on the topic or develop a related research proposal (modeled after the process whereby scientists procure funding for research). For examples of recent chemistry senior projects, go to Seminar Projects. You will also be strongly encouraged to conduct academic research or complete an internship as part of your education.

Chemistry Major Requirements

Chemistry Minor Requirements

Course Sequence for Chemistry Majors

First Year Second Year Third Year Fourth Year
Fall General Chemistry I and lab
Calculus I
Organic Chemistry II and lab
Physics I and lab
Biochemistry I and lab
Physical Chemistry I and lab
Senior seminar (counts as half of a course)
Chemical Instrumentation and lab
Spring Organic Chemistry I and lab
Calculus II
General Chemistry II and lab
Integrated Chemical Analysis and lab
Physics II and lab
Physical Chemistry II and lab
Inorganic Chemistry and lab
Senior seminar (counts as half of a course)

Christina Chant, PhD

Assistant Professor of Chemistry
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Ph.D., The Pennsylvania State University, 2002  chemistry with a focus on biophysical chemistry
B.S., SUNY College at Plattsburgh, 1996  chemistry and environmental chemistry

Postdoctoral associate, University of Vermont, 2002-2005  structure and function of catalytically-active RNA molecules

TAAP program for alternative licensure in teaching, 2008 middle-level science endorsement

Areas of Expertise:

Protein structure and stability, biophysical chemistry, computational protein design, applications of molecular biology in a protein lab, ribozyme folding and function, environmental chemistry, chemistry education in middle grades, chemistry education for non-science majors

Courses I Teach:

  • General Chemistry I and II
  • General Chemistry I and II labs
  • Liberal Arts Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry II lab
  • Physical Chemistry I
  • Physical Chemistry I lab

Bret Findley, PhD

Chemistry and Physics Department Chair, Associate Professor of Chemistry
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Ph.D. Dartmouth College
B.A. Willamette University

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Areas of Expertise:

Experimental Physical Chemistry; Photo-Induced Electron Transfer Reactions; Molecular Spectroscopy; Physical Chemistry Pedagogy

Courses I Teach:

  • Chemistry Senior Seminar
  • Concepts in Chemistry
  • General Chemistry I and II
  • Physical Chemistry I, II, and III

David Heroux, PhD

Associate Professor
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Ph.D. Inorganic Chemistry, Kansas State University
B.A. Chemistry, Manhattanville College

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Areas of Expertise:

Nanotechnology, inorganic and environmental chemistry, chemical magic

Courses I Teach:

  • General Chemistry I and II
  • Inorganic Chemistry

Shane Lamos, PhD

Associate Professor of Chemistry
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Ph.D. University of Wisconsin
B.S. Saint Michael's College

Areas of Expertise:

Using Organic synthesis to develop new tools for the qualitative and quantitative assessment of proteins and metabolites

Courses I Teach:

  • Chemistry Senior Seminar
  • Organic Chemistry
  • General Chemistry

Marque Moffett, MS

Instructor of Chemistry
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M.S. University of Vermont
B.A. State University of New York at Plattsburgh

Areas of Expertise:

General chemistry education and biochemistry, specifically in the use of photo-induced electron transfer to elucidate the relationships between protein structure and function.

Courses I Teach:

  • General Chemistry I and II
  • General Chemistry Labs
  • Organic Chemistry Labs

Jennifer Paone-Vogt, MA

Instructor of Chemistry/Lab Coordinator
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B.A. Western Connecticut State University
M.A. Wayne State University

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Areas of Expertise:

Responsibilities include lab preparations for all chemistry laboratory courses offered by the department; development of new laboratories in the introductory courses; laboratory refinements in all courses; supervision of student employees (lab preparators, labware technicians and teaching assistants); management of the chemical stockroom; chemical procurement, inventory and budget; and liaison with the Environmental Health and Safety officer.

Courses I Teach:

• General Chemistry I & II Laboratory
• Organic Chemistry I Laboratory

Alayne Schroll, PhD

Biochemistry Program Coordinator, Professor of Chemistry, Leavy Family Chair in Chemistry
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Ph.D. University of Minnesota
B.A. Russell Sage College

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Areas of Expertise:

Bio-organic chemistry, more specifically the development of protecting groups for cysteine and selenocysteine for application in the laboratory synthesis of peptides and proteins

Courses I Teach:

  • Biochemistry I and II
  • Chemistry Senior Seminar
  • Organic Chemistry labs

The Chemistry Department at Saint Michael's College strongly encourages students to pursue research opportunities based upon their interests and career goals. There are numerous opportunities to conduct research in all areas of chemistry, either with Saint Michael’s faculty members or off campus at national laboratories and at institutions throughout the country.

In fact, most chemistry majors graduate having spent one or more summers conducting research. They also have opportunities to present their research results at local and national meetings.

An excellent site for finding research opportunities for students can be found at the National Science Foundation.

Current and prospective students in the natural sciences, math and engineering can find other research opportunities at the Web Guide to Research for Undergraduates.

Chemistry and biochemistry faculty members encourage interested students to e-mail or call them directly to speak about possible opportunities that exist in the department.

After graduation, our majors go on to careers like:

  • Adhesive Chemist
  • Animal Nutritionist
  • Agricultural Chemist
  • Atmospheric Chemist
  • Biotechnology Researcher
  • Business Development Director
  • Ceramics Engineer
  • Chemical Consulting
  • Chemical Educator
  • Chemical Facilities Manager (Local, Global, Military)
  • Chemical Information Specialist-Software (Private, Public)
  • Chemical Safety Consultant (Academic, Military, Health)
  • Chemical Sales
  • Chemistry Professor
  • Clinical Research
  • Consumer Safety Officer
  • Entrepreneur
  • Environmental Protection Agency (air, water, waste)
  • Environmental Chemist
  • Food Safety Evaluator (USDA, Private)
  • Food Chemist
  • Forensic Pharmaceutical Analysis (Private, FDA)
  • Forensic Chemist
  • Fragrance Chemist
  • Geochemist
  • Glass Chemist (Auto, Consumer, Safety) 
  • High School Teacher
  • Human Resources Director
  • Marketing and Communications Consultant
  • Materials Chemist (NASA, Private, Military)
  • Medical Doctor
  • Medical Equipment Developer
  • Medicinal Chemist (FDA, Private)
  • Metals Manufacturing (Mining, Processing, Alloys)
  • Nanotechnology
  • National Institutes of Health Researcher
  • Vitamin and Supplement Chemist
  • Petroleum Chemist (Oil Industry, Auto)
  • Paint Specialist
  • Patent Agent (Private, Academic)
  • Patent Attorney (Private, Government)
  • Pharmaceutical Chemist (Develop Drug Molecules)
  • Plant Engineering
  • Polymer Chemist (Plastics, Fibers)
  • Pulp and Paper Chemist
  • Rubber Chemist (Recycling, Auto, Synthetic)
  • Surface Chemist (Computer Chips, Drug Development)
  • Textile Chemist
  • U.S. Department of Energy (Solve the Energy Crisis)
  • Waste Management (Chemical and Hazardous Waste)
  • Water Treatment Chemist (Municipal, Private, Federal)

Graduate Study

For many years SMC chemistry majors have enjoyed a 100% acceptance rate to professional and graduate schools.  Forty-two percent of our chemistry and biochemistry graduates immediately attend graduate science or medical schools.

The graduate schools they have attended recently include Johns Hopkins University, Georgetown University, University of Massachusetts, University of Washington State, Dartmouth, University of Vermont, University of Rochester, University of Pennsylvania, University of Wisconsin, Notre Dame, MIT, and the University of Virginia.

To contact the Department of Chemistry:

Department of Chemistry
Saint Michael's College
One Winooski Park, Box 277
Colchester, VT 05439

Fax: 802.654.2236

Department Chair:
Bret Findley
Cheray Hall 212
802.654.2218
bfindley@smcvt.edu
Administrative Assistant:
Julia Kirby
Cheray Hall 314
802.654.2369
jkirby@smcvt.edu

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