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Campus mission reflected through chemistry program

This year the Chemistry department at John Brown University is starting a two-year trial for the CH3 Chemistry program.

The new program will help the University’s Chemistry program become more unique and hopes to attract more chemistry and biochemistry students.

The program is focused on expanding the chemistry experience outside the classroom.

Associate chemistry professor Carla Swearingen said, “It’ll be great for students going to graduate school or applying for jobs to see that there’s something outside of the class.”

Connecting to JBU’s mission of head, heart and hand, the CH3 program incorporates the three themes into three project activities.

The three program activities for the program each have different ventures and criteria. Each student involved in the program must participate in one event in each of the three program activities and will be noted on their transcript.

Both Chemistry and Biochemistry majors have an opportunity to participate in the program. Rachel Newton, senior chemistry major, said she wants to see “how they do the ministry work while implementing the science part of it.”

“It will be good to have an actual program that encapsulates what we do,” said Luke MacFarlan, junior chemistry major.

Stephanie Smith, freshman chemistry major said, “I think it’s great that they are finally putting a name to what our chemistry majors are accomplishing.”

The Head program activity involves a research project with an out-of-class presentation. The research project itself can be done within the class but the presentation cannot. If students involved in the program want an alternate assignment, they are welcome to come up with a unique project and get their idea approved.

The Heart program activity involves a variety of options, including mission trips. Every other year a mission trip to Uganda is available, as well as the option to take part in a Boys and Girls Club science outreach.

The Hand program activity has options involving internships, assistant teaching in labs, and significant leadership in a STEM-related club such as an aerospace club.

Though others had talked about starting some type of program like CH3, professor Carla Swearingen formally introduced the program, along with chemistry professors Susan Newton and Francis Umesiri.

The three built the CH3 program for JBU based off of the Hendrix College’s Odyssey Program.

The Odyssey Program wants students to learn in non-traditional settings. Thus the program wants students to engage outside of the classroom. The professors involved in the program wanted the same experience for their students.

Smith received a flyer for CH3 and said it was likely that she would join the program.

“I think that CH3 is a great way to integrate Head, Heart and Hand together with the chemistry major,” Smith said.

“It’s hard in the science department to combine and apply the motto, but I think this is a new a creative way to do so,” Smith said, “We get to know each other in lab hours, but this is a great way to add more community in our major.”

Hendrix Program students choose from three of six categories to participate in and so three program activities where made for the JBU chemistry and biochemistry students.

The Hendrix Program also has flexibility for their students and JBU promotes flexibility in their program by letting students come up with original ideas for the head, hand and heart project activities.

The program is optional for chemistry and biochemistry students at the moment and there is no extra cost except for perhaps some additional supplies. All the chemistry professors hope students will grasp the opportunity to take part in the program and expand their view about studying chemistry.