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Juniata Chemistry Department Honored for Undergraduate Science Education

(Posted May 24, 2005)

Chemistry student Leslie Vogt \'05, and Richard Hark, associate professor of chemistry, work through a lab exercise.

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- The Department of Chemistry at Juniata College has been awarded the 2005 Heuer Award for Outstanding Achievement in Undergraduate Science Education by the Council of Independent Colleges.

"The chemistry department is honored and gratified to receive this award for the education we are providing for our students," says David Reingold, professor of chemistry and chair of the department. "We go to great lengths to give our students the best education possible, and we are especially happy when the outside world recognizes what we do as outstanding. We hope to use this money to make the chemistry program even better."

The award, created by CIC with support from the Russell Pearce and Elizabeth Crimian Heuer Foundation, provides $10,000 for the chemistry department to use "in any way you choose to strengthen undergraduate education at Juniata College."

Juniata is one of just two recipients of the award this year. There were 28 nominations received by the council.

Juniata's chemistry program was chosen for the award for its curricular innovation. The citation for the award recognized that Juniata had reorganized its traditional chemistry sequence so that organic chemistry comes first. The citation reads in part, "Recognizing that a large percentage of their students were pre-health or biology majors�the arrangement permits the early introduction of instrumental analytical tools as well as an increased emphasis on student research."

The Council of Independent Colleges listed several student outcomes -- threefold increase in chemistry majors, 16 reviewed publications with student co-authors, 27 student presentations at regional national and international meetings, 70 percent of chemistry majors are women and 60 percent of chemistry graduates go on to graduate programs -- as major points for the award.

The other program that received an award is the Oberlin College neuroscience department.

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.