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 approved 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.

Our chemistry program has an excellent track record for acceptance to graduate and professional schools. Recently, our alumni have gone on to graduate programs at such schools as Dartmouth, Duke, Tufts, and Yale.  

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.

Sample Four Year Plan for Chemistry Majors*

First Year
Fall Spring
CH 110 General Chemistry I and lab CH 117 Organic Chemistry I and lab
MA 150 Calculus I MA 160 Calculus II
First Year Seminar Liberal Studies course
Liberal Studies course Liberal Studies course
Fall Spring
CH 207 Organic Chemistry II and lab CH 208 General Chemistry II and lab
PY 210  Physics I and lab CH 215 Integrated Chemical Analysis and lab
Liberal Studies course PY 211 Physics II and lab
Elective Elective
Fall Spring
CH 302 Chemical Thermodynamics and Kinetics and lab CH 304 Quantum Chemistry and Spectroscopy and lab 
CH 325 Biochemistry I and lab CH 305 Inorganic Chemistry and lab
Junior Seminar Elective
  Elective    Elective 
Fall Spring
CH 410 Chemistry Senior Seminar CH 410 Chemistry Senior Seminar
CH 417 Chemical Instrumentation and lab Electives

Students who have received a score of 4 or higher on the Chemistry AP Exam may place out of CH 110 General Chemistry I and receive credit for the course.

Students planning graduate studies in chemistry will likely require more math background and should consult with their academic advisors on this matter.

In order to receive an ACS-approved degree in Chemistry, students must also complete an approved research experience during the summer or academic year and submit a research report.

* For students who enroll in the fall of 2018.

Christina Chant, PhD

Associate Professor of Chemistry
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Contact Professor Chant

Cheray Hall 204
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Ph.D., The Pennsylvania State University, 2002 -  Chemistry (Biophysical Chemistry)
B.S., SUNY College at Plattsburgh, 1996 - Chemistry and Environmental Chemistry (dual major)

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
  • Integrated Chemical Analysis (ICA)
  • Organic Chemistry I lab
  • Physical Chemistry I
  • Physical Chemistry I lab
  • Biochemistry I lab
  • Senior Seminar

Bret Findley, PhD

Associate Professor of Chemistry
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Cheray Hall 212
Box 131
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Ph.D. Dartmouth College
B.A. Willamette University

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
  • Chemical Thermodynamics and Kinetics
  • Quantum Chemistry and Spectroscopy
  • Environmental Chemistry

David Heroux, PhD

Chemistry Department Chair, Associate Professor of Chemistry
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Cheray Hall 226
Box 132
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Ph.D. Inorganic Chemistry, Kansas State University
B.A. Chemistry, Manhattanville College

Areas of Expertise:

Nanotechnology, inorganic and environmental chemistry, chemical magic

Courses I Teach:

  • General Chemistry I
  • General Chemistry II
  • General Chemistry Laboratory
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory
  • Senior Seminar
  • First Year Seminar: Science That Changed History
  • Introduction to Environmental Science

Shane Lamos, PhD

Associate Professor of Chemistry, Pre-Pharmacy Degree Coordinator

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Cheray Hall 216
Box 352
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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

Alayne Schroll, PhD

Professor of Chemistry, Leavy Family Chair in Chemistry, Biochemistry Program Director
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Cheray Hall 202
Box 277
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Ph.D. University of Minnesota
B.A. Russell Sage College

Areas of Expertise:

Biochemistry/bio-organic chemistry.  My research involves synthesizing novel sulfur and selenium containing molecules for studies that compare the redox chemistry of the sulfur and selenium in analogous structures. The study of the redox properties of the molecules contributes to the development of a deeper understanding of the antioxidant and mechanistic roles that sulfur and selenium may play in naturally occurring molecules.


Courses I Teach:

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

Marque Moffett, MS

Instructor of Chemistry

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Cheray Hall 206
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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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Cheray Hall 214
Box 134
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B.A. Western Connecticut State University
M.A. Wayne State University

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

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

Our chemistry program has an excellent track record for acceptance to graduate and professional schools. Forty-two percent of our chemistry and biochemistry graduates immediately attend graduate science or medical schools.

Graduate schools they have attended recently include:

  • Boston University
  • Dartmouth College
  • Duke University
  • Tufts University
  • University College of Dublin
  • University of Connecticut
  • University of Maryland
  • University of Massachusetts
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Rochester
  • University of Vermont
  • University of Washington State
  • University of Wisconsin
  • West Virginia University 
  • Yale University

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.  Funds are available to support students who want to work on advanced research during the summer.  They also have opportunities to present their research results at local and national meetings.  Recent summer research projects by chemistry majors include:

  • Computational Calculation of the Mulliken Charge Densities and Dipole Moments of Solvatoflourchromic Dyes
  • The Investigation of Ionic Liquids as a Tool for the Synthesis of Porous Zirconia Catalysts
  • Investigation of Ultrahigh Surface Area and Highly Graphitic Carbon for the Removal of Gasoline Based Pollutants from Ground Water
  • Synthesis, Purification and Characterization of a Selenouracil Derivative
  • Oxidation of Cyclohesanol with Catalytic Cobalt (II) Chloride in SBA-16
  • Building a Protein-Based Therapeutic for the Treatment of Prostate Cancer
  • Spectrophotometric Analysis of Fluorinated Compounds in Ski Wax
  • Purification and Expression of Modified Calmodulin Protein
  • The Carbon Coated MgO (111) as a Catalyst in an Aqueous Environment
  • Synthesis and Catalytic Testing of High Surface Area Strontium Oxide, Barium Oxide and Mixed Metal Oxides to Yield Biodiesel from Waste Phospholipids Procured from Algae

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.


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