OC’s Chemistry Program Compounds Technical Knowledge with Professional Development

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Chemistry Society students

Plastic. Food. Essential oils. According to sophomore Zaquary Strohmeyer, all three are bound together through the magic of chemistry. And for many other Olivet students, the chemistry program is spreading that very same magic.

Zaquary expresses his passion for his major and its career potential.

“It is intriguing and almost magical to be able to make new chemicals simply from a variety of other chemicals,” Zaquary said. “It is extremely interesting to be able to apply what you learn in chemistry to everyday life. Because it can be applied in everyday life, it can be an extremely fulfilling major with plenty of job opportunities once graduated.”

Junior Jordyn Osterland also sees the potential for success facilitated through the major.

“There are a lot of different career pathways with the major,” she said. “The program is so small so it’s very personal with professors, and you get to know everyone in your major very well.”

Besides the technical skills and knowledge Zaquary has acquired, he has also learned practical skills that will prepare him for his future profession.

“I have learned better time management, better critical thinking skills and better communication skills,” he said.

Susanne Lewis, Ph.D., professor of chemistry, is proud to announce that 100 percent of the chemistry program alumni have been accepted into a graduate or professional program or the workforce for the past ten years. She stresses that support from alumni contributes greatly to the success of the program.

“Our alumni base is growing so students have the opportunity to network with alumni in a variety of different jobs or graduate programs,” Professor Lewis said. “Our alumni are always happy to speak to current students about their experiences at OC as well as how they prepared themselves for life after OC.”

Lewis stresses that the chemistry major may not be for the faint of heart, but with a relationship-based education, students will grow and thrive.

“The chemistry major is a challenging major, but the faculty advisers and other students are there to help new students make the transition from high school or from another college,” she said.

Every student has the chance to personalize their education in this major.

“Students in the chemistry major have the unique opportunity to customize their electives to fit the needs of their career goals,” Professor Lewis said.

She notes that students are able to work on special topics and independent projects of their own design, take advanced classes not in the regular curriculum, and get involved with special topics courses that show students a different side of chemistry or supplement their education with career preparation.

Jordyn has taken advantage of the program’s customizability and believes it has more than adequately prepared her for a career in chemistry.

Sophomore Zaquary Strohmeyer presents his research during chemistry poster presentations.

“My major has prepared me for the professional world because I’ve become a lot more independent and confident through becoming a general chemistry lab assistant and spending hours working in the lab on my own,” she said.

Graduates of the chemistry program are well-prepared for graduate school, professional programs such as medical school or dentistry school, and careers in laboratories. But both Jordyn and Zaquary believe their career opportunities are even more versatile. Jordyn plans on attending medical school to become a forensic pathologist while Zaquary dreams of career possibilities at NASA. And with OC chemistry degrees under their belts, there’s no doubt the two are on their way to accomplishing their goals.

To learn more about OC’s chemistry program, contact the Office of Admissions at 800.456.7189 or admissions@uolivet.edu.



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