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The Capstone Experience in Chemistry at the University of Cincinnati Bruce S. Ault Department of Chemistry University of Cincinnati Cincinnati, OH 45221-0172.

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Presentation on theme: "The Capstone Experience in Chemistry at the University of Cincinnati Bruce S. Ault Department of Chemistry University of Cincinnati Cincinnati, OH 45221-0172."— Presentation transcript:

1 the Capstone Experience in Chemistry at the University of Cincinnati Bruce S. Ault Department of Chemistry University of Cincinnati Cincinnati, OH

2 Undergraduate Chemistry Degrees at the University of Cincinnati Four degree programs: B.S. Chemistry – ACS B.S. Chemistry B.S. Biochemistry B.A. Chemistry (biological chemistry conc.)

3 Size and Scale University enrolls over 43,000 students Approximately 250 declared chemistry and biochemistry majors Over past 3 years, averaged ≈ 60 UG degrees Averaged ≈ 22 degrees certified to the ACS We teach ≈ 1800 students in General Chemistry in the fall semester

4 The Capstone A capstone is required for every baccalaureate degree recipient at the University Individualized by each Department Must have written and oral component In Chemistry, capstone requires undergraduate research (CHEM5030) plus Senior Seminar (CHEM5080) Senior Seminar builds on Sophomore Seminar, CHEM2080 (also required)

5 Sophomore Seminar, CHEM2080 Soft skills and career information Career opportunities with chemistry degree Scientific literature searching Laboratory safety Resume writing Scientific Ethics Introduction to undergraduate research

6 Sophomore Seminar, CHEM2080 (continued) One credit course Graded pass/fail Requires 100% attendance Two reflective essays Primarily external speakers Discussion encouraged

7 Senior Seminar Preparing for life after undergraduate school How to start a job search Acing the interview Graduate schools in chemistry Entrepreneurship Intellectual property Effective oral scientific presentations Effective poster presentations

8 Senior Seminar (continued) Advanced electronic literature searching Scientific ethics, with role playing Laboratory safety “Chemistry in Society” Two reflective essays Also a one credit course Graded pass/fail

9 Undergraduate Research Duration depends on degree program – two credits for two semesters for ACS certification Join one of ≈ 20 research groups in dept. Own individual project within research focus of the group Usually with graduate student mentor 6 – 8 hours per week (flexible) Receive letter grade for research course

10 Undergraduate Research (cont.) For capstone, written report/paper and oral or poster presentation Details left to individual faculty mentors University has all-University Undergraduate Research Conference and Poster Session – good venue for most 20-point rubric for capstone evaluation

11 Conclusions All students get research experience, some more so than others Research details left to individual faculty All students get exposure to a range of soft skills and career information Students often me a semester later asking for handouts and PowerPoint slides Student evaluations of CHEM2080 and 5080 have been very positive

12 Acknowledgments A special thanks to Dr. Joel Shulman, Procter and Gamble (retired), member of CPT and adjunct professor in our department Joel was a driving force behind Sophomore and Senior Seminar and gives several presentations each year in each course


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