In the Fall of 2017, Emory’s Department of Chemistry overhauled its undergraduate curriculum to introduce a more interdisciplinary approach to teaching chemistry. The new course structure, named Chemistry Unbound, was designed to weave concepts of traditional chemistry disciplines together, giving students a more comprehensive foundation of the field.
This curriculum reform was described in “Chemistry Unbound: Designing a New Four-Year Undergraduate Curriculum”, written with contributions from Tracy L. McGill, Leah C. Williams, Douglas R. Mulford, Simon B. Blakey, Robert J. Harris, James T. Kindt, David G. Lynn, Patricia A. Marsteller, Frank E. McDonald, and Nichole L. Powell. The article, which was recently published in the Journal of Chemical Education, has been selected by the ACS as “Editors’ Choice”. This recognition highlights the value of the publication as a significant contribution to the global scientific community.
We are so proud of the success of Chemistry Unbound! Congratulations who everyone who contributed to such a wonderful accomplishment!
Emory Magazine recently ran a feature highlighting some of the innovative curriculum that makes Emory a national leader in liberal arts and science education. The feature mentioned Chemistry Unbound, the new undergraduate chemistry program, which is designed to allow a more cohesive understanding of chemistry through its interdisciplinary courses. From the article:
“The idea is that you’re not just learning the facts, but also learning the chemistry behind how the world works,” says Doug Mulford, a senior chemistry lecturer and director of undergraduate studies for Emory’s chemistry department. “You’re also seeing how to construct a scientific claim and use evidence and reason to explain your argument. That level of critical thinking transcends chemistry.”
ChEmory, Emory’s undergraduate chemistry club, has been recognized by the American Chemical Society as a Commendable chapter for 2016-2017. This places ChEmory in the top 10-20% of all undergraduate ACS chapters.
2017-2018 is also shaping up to be an excellent year for ChEmory. The club has been awarded two ACS grants for activities–a Community Interaction Grant and a New Activities Grant.
Congrats to the ChEmory officers and members for all their hard work!
The Emory Report features a story on chemistry’s new undergraduate curriculum, Chemistry Unbound.
For the science dedicated to studying how properties interact and change, chemistry has been static for decades in how it is taught.
That changes this fall, as Emory College of Arts & Sciences positions itself as a leader in teaching undergraduates the “central science” that links biology, physics and more with a revamp of its entire undergraduate chemistry curriculum.
While some colleges have changed individual classes, Emory is the first major research university to completely overhaul how it teaches chemistry, from introductory courses to capstone senior seminars.
For Love Your Major Week, we’re highlighting our undergraduate chemistry majors in a series of blog posts. Interested in declaring a chemistry major? See Ms. Ethel Ellington in Atwood Hall 380 for assistance!
ChEmory is Emory’s award-winning American Chemistry Society club. They’ve been recognized with the ACS Green Chapter Award for three years running and in 2013, they were featured as an Outstanding Chapter with a photo on the cover of the ACS magazine. ChEmory holds a general meeting each month during the school year where members can explore chemistry in-depth. Past meetings have included a look at the chemistry behind molecular gastronomy, jewelry making using chemical etching, and instruction in chemistry demos.
ChEmory has also been a featured part of the Atlanta Science Festival each year since it began in 2013. Last year, they were part of the parade that took place downtown during the Exploration Expo making chemistry ping pong ball clouds.
Not all ChEmory students are chemistry majors, but everyone in ChEmory loves sharing chemistry with the community! ChEmory frequently visits local elementary schools to share science demos. And every year, ChEmory reminds the Emory community of the fun behind the chemistry with their National Chemistry Week demo show and Mole Day Party.
Doug Mulford’s freshman seminar is featured in this week’s Dooley Report, the weekly ebulletin sent to all Emory students. From the article:
“If you have a better understanding of the history of knowledge, you realize the things we think are true now are going to change, and you have to be open to that new learning,” says Douglas Mulford, senior lecturer of chemistry and the director of undergraduate studies for Emory’s chemistry department.
Mulford’s first-year seminar, “How Do We Know That: 2,500 years of Great Science Writing,” aims to help students develop those skills by delving into scientific claims of the past and present as well as the ethics that go with scientific advancement.
Part science literature and part critical thinking, the course is one of several first-year courses offered under Emory’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), “The Nature of Evidence: How Do You Know?”
Emory’s American Chemical Society-affiliated undergraduate club, ChEmory, has been recognized as a Green Chemistry Student Chapter for the third year running. The award provides national recognition for ACS student chapters who have shown outstanding commitment to incorporating green chemistry into their annual activities. The judges praised ChEmory for their work drawing connections between traditional chemistry demonstrations and green chemistry ideas like pollution prevention and sustainable product design.
ChEmory also received an honorable mention for ACS Chapter-at-Large, placing them in the top fifteen percent of chapters across the country.
ChEmory kicked off the year with their first general body meeting on September 7th. ChEmory’s next event will be a coffee talk with Dr. Don Batisky, the Executive Director of Emory’s Pre-Health Mentoring Office taking place TODAY, Wednesday, September 21st at 5:30pm in Atwood 316. ChEmory members are invited to share coffee and conversation about approaching the pre-medical track through chemistry.
Doug Mulford’s Fall 2016 course, “How Do We Know That? 2,500 Years of Great Science Writing”, has been featured by Emory News as a “critical” course offering a fresh perspective on high profile issues. From the article:
How Do We Know That? 2,500 Years of Great Science Writing
Instructor: Douglas Mulford, senior lecturer, Chemistry
Cool factor: What did Darwin actually say? Einstein? Mendel? Should we clone humans? Can chocolate cause weight loss? What is the placebo effect anyway and why do I care? Was Galileo just a really big nerd? (Yes!) The course will look at how humans learn by looking at the original words of scientists throughout history. Occasional demonstrations, explosions and liquid nitrogen ice cream provided.
Course description: This is not a science class but scientific learning will be the framework for this study. This discussion-based first-year seminar will focus on how humans have learned knowledge throughout the history. Discourse will examine humans’ ways of discovery by looking at 2,500 years of great science writing to discover how science is done and how human knowledge as a species grows.
A group of Emory University and Oxford College chemistry faculty and postdoctoral fellows attended the Biennial Conference on Chemical Education from July 31 toAugust 4 at the University of Northern Colorado. Brenda Harmon and Nichole Powell chaired a symposium, Karl Hagen and Tracy McGill presented oral papers, and Doug Mulford gave a poster presentation, establishing Emory as a key member of the chemical educational community. This was a great opportunity to learn about the latest innovations and implementations of chemistry curriculum, pedagogical methods, technology in the classroom, and undergraduate laboratory design. Additionally, it was a unique time for Emory and Oxford faculty to learn more about their respective departments and to engage in conversations about how best to support our students in both colleges.
The ATOMIC classroom is the 99-seat teaching space adjacent to the new Science Commons in Atwood Hall. The ATOMIC classroom is “Advancing the Teaching of Matter in Chemistry” through interactive classroom experiences. Students can view presentations on 360 degree screens or work out problems on the whiteboard walls and tables. Emory photographer David Johnson stopped by a few weeks ago to catch this unique classroom in action.