CHM 204 Inorganic Chemistry
Basic principles of inorganic chemistry. Topics include descriptive inorganic chemistry, structure and bonding, transition metal coordination chemistry, and more.
We offer small classes, lots of interaction with professors and research opportunities that at many institutions would be limited to graduate students. All of our faculty are engaged in research that incorporates meaningful participation by undergraduates. You can pursue a degree in chemistry or biochemistry with professional certification from the American Chemical Society in either one. We also offer an interdisciplinary major in biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology — a popular choice for pre-med students because it covers most of the requirements for the Medical College Admissions Test. Most of our chemistry majors go on graduate programs in the sciences or professional programs in health-related fields.
You have many opportunities for research through coursework and summer internships on and off campus. Areas of faculty research include antibiotic biosynthesis and resistance, mechanisms of firefly bioluminescence, computational analysis of fluorescent proteins, organic synthesis of biologically important natural products, and investigations on porous nanoparticles. Work is funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Henry and Camille Dreyfus Foundation, The Research Corp. for Science Advancement, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the National Science Foundation. Many students co-author papers with faculty and present their work at major seminars.
Our faculty have taken students to study away or conduct research in South Africa, Italy, across the U.S. and in Puerto Rico. You might intern at a local hospital or biotech company, including Pfizer Inc. in nearby Groton, Conn. Special lectures are frequently given on campus by visiting researchers.
Stan Ching has taught a wide variety of chemistry courses, including lectures and laboratories for General Chemistry, Advanced General Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry, Advanced Inorganic Chemistry and Instrumental Methods of Analysis. He has also taught the Molecular Science course for non-science majors. As part of his teaching, he also mentors students in research projects through independent study, honors study and summer research.
Vicki Fontneau teaches and coordinates general chemistry and biochemistry labs. She has developed and implemented experiments in both these areas. She has been instrumental in improving laboratory safety throughout the chemistry department.
Timo Ovaska centers his research on organic synthesis, a process that allows chemists to prepare complex materials in a rational fashion from simple precursors. In 2011, Pfizer scientist and '99 alumnus Jamie Tuttle and his colleague won a "Green Chemistry Award," and chose to donate the monetary portion of the award to Ovaska, who planned to use it to fund undergraduate student stipends for research in his lab.
Maureen Ronau has taught a wide array of courses, including lectures and labs for Analytical Chemistry and Advanced General Chemistry. She continues to teach general chemistry and organic chemistry labs, coordinates the organic chemistry lab and the analytical chemistry lab, and has developed labs for these courses.
Tanya Schneider's research focus is on the biosynthesis of natural products. Her undergraduate research group is working on understanding antibiotic biosynthesis and discovering new routes to mitigate the problem of antibiotic resistance. She is also interested in connecting biochemistry course content with current research whenever possible, and has developed lab projects for the course that have led to new results in the field of biosynthesis.
Jacob Stewart's research will be focused on better understanding the chemistry of Earth’s atmosphere. He is interested in using the tools of laser spectroscopy to measure the amount and the properties of important atmospheric molecules — in particular, biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs), which are naturally occurring molecules emitted by plants into the atmosphere. Even though these species are only present in small amounts in the atmosphere, they have a significant impact on atmospheric processes which affect climate change and air pollution.
Marc Zimmer teaches general chemistry, molecular science and environmental chemistry. He has tried to make these courses relevant and interesting by introducing the most recent developments in general, medicinal and environmental chemistry in his classes.
A: I was drawn by the sense of community. Of the many colleges I toured, no school felt quite the same. This feeling has endured through my years here as I have built close relationships with my peers, professors and advisers.
A: The most rewarding part is the accomplished, dedicated and inspiring faculty. It is obvious that students are the No. 1 priority, one of the great advantages of our small school. For example, my biochemistry professor often varies her curriculum to accommodate a question or a particular interest a student may have.
A: In my freshman year, I studied nanostructured manganese oxides with Professor Ching. I was able to work independently a majority of the time, which made research a very rewarding and often exciting experience.
A: My CELS counselor has constantly given me the support and inspiration I need to apply to medical school. My counselor and the CELS office are truly amazing resources for internships, jobs and everyday advice.