Department Life & Student Involvement
Life in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Elizabethtown College isn’t just beakers and test tubes. We are proud to be part of a vibrant on-and off-campus community located in southcentral Pennsylvania. Our students also occasionally find themselves in foreign countries for research fellowships, study abroad semesters and faculty-led trips. While on campus, students have the opportunity to participate in many activities that fuel their curiosity. As a diverse college in the northeast, you will have the chance to explore both your academic interests and personal passions.
Meet Our Students
"I'm grateful to be studying chemistry at Etown because all of the professors really want to see you succeed and to get to know you as a person. I am also able to get tons of hands-on experience working with lab equipment. Last summer I participated in SCARP and got to spend 8 weeks in the lab doing biochemical research with Dr. Hagan. It was such a good experience to have, especially so early in my college career. I know that Etown's Department and Chemistry and Biochemistry will prepare me well for graduate school and beyond."
Meet Our Students
Chemistry Secondary Education and Chemical Physics
"Elizabethtown is a home away from home for me. The Chemistry and Education departments are strong. All the professors, especially in the Chemistry Department really care about their students and the goals of individual students."
Meet Our Students
Junior, Chemistry and Business Double-Major
"I think the best thing about studying Chemistry (or any subject) at Etown is the absolute dedication of the professors to teaching and to the success of the students. I've never encountered a professor at Etown who wasn't prepared to go the extra mile to ensure students excel. In the chemistry department, this is exemplified by every professor's understanding of the individual goals, capabilities, and desires of each of the students and their tenacity in ensuring that our curriculum is both as demanding and as manageable as possible."
Meet Our Students
"Professors are willing to help students as much as they need. Their doors are always open. If they're not teaching a class or meeting with another student, they're willing to help you."
Within the department, faculty and students plan regular activities meant to bring everyone closer and break down barriers. Outside of class, you’ll see our faculty and staff around campus with our students. We believe in personal mentorship and relationship-based education. From the student lunches with faculty members, to dinners and cook-outs at professors’ homes, our department functions like a family. Students also enjoy group study sessions and department clubs like the Chemistry Club.
Everyone's favorite tradition is probably the senior breakfast. Every year, the faculty plans and cooks breakfast for our graduating seniors, including their families and friends. Students appreciate the personal touch while professors appreciate the chance to say goodbye in style, but everyone enjoys having a home cooked meal before the graduation ceremony.
Additionally, before everyone in the department leaves for Thanksgiving break, we take a trip (yes, all 30-40 of us!) to Shady Maple, a favorite spot amongst hungry students, for a breakfast get together.
Due to the close connection our professors make with students during their four years, our faculty and staff are able to keep in close contact with our alumni after graduation. We use those connections to plan unique opportunities for our students such as field trips, networking nights, and presentations. We invite professionals in the field from our local area, as well as regionally, to our networking nights to give our students the best opportunities and connections. Our collective campus community works to bring change-makers from all over the world to interact with our students. We’ve been fortunate enough to have speakers like Nobel Laureate Leymah Gbowee join our campus for an evening of conversation.
Students are also encouraged to participate in other on-campus events and groups such as Student Senate, Emotion, Peer Mentoring and intramural sports. We also encourage them to study abroad or go on short-term study trips. Students can also choose to stick closer to home and get involved with Relay for Life and Into the Streets.
For Chemistry students looking for additional out-of-class enriching experiences, or for non-majors who enjoy the sciences, the Chemistry Club is the perfect extracurricular club! From guest speakers, workshops and industrial tours, the Student Affiliates of the American Chemical Society (“Chemistry Club”) allows you to learn more about chemical industries and network with professionals in the field outside of the classroom. We value community engagement and routinely conduct chemistry demonstrations with elementary school students in the community. The Etown College chapter has been a nationally recognized chapter for eight consecutive years!
The American Chemical Society provides support to Student Affiliates, including chapter programming aids and services and career and employment services. Membership in the ACS has a number of benefits, including heavily discounted fees for attendance at meetings of the ACS; weekly copies of Chemical and Engineering News, the ACS news journal; and substantial discounts on all ACS journals. Students routinely travel to local, regional, and national meetings of the ACS to report the results of their research findings.
The Chemistry Honor Society (Gamma Sigma Epsilon) is the Rho Eta chapter of the national governing organization for excellence in Chemistry and related studies. Students with a grade point average of 3.3 or higher in chemistry are invited to join this prestigious group of student-scholars.
We recognize and celebrate our students’ achievements. Through hard work and faculty mentorship, our students are completing life-changing work both on and off campus. See how we honor our Department’s work through our annual awards and scholarships, which allow students to distinguish themselves when applying for jobs or graduate school.
The Chemistry Honor Society (Gamma Sigma Epsilon)