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Current Students: Jonathan Eisenberg, Kathryn Twyman, Shreoshi Majumdar

Jonathan Eisenberg ’09
Chemistry Major, Chinese Minor; Pre-med
F08-S09 D-plan: R-R-R

Favorite and least favorite thing about department: I love the Chemistry program at Dartmouth for the rich interaction between students and professors. The Chemistry profs are all wonderful people who each have chosen Dartmouth over a larger research university because they want to teach undergraduates. In every interaction, it is clear that they personally want you to take Chemistry classes and consider a major in Chemistry, and they are dedicated to take whatever steps necessary to support you. The only fault I have with the Chemistry department is with the scheduling. The core classes are only scheduled once per year. As such, majors can be stuck with a fairly rigid D-plan. Without careful planning, it can be difficult to fit in an off-campus program or another major.

Important info for potential majors: It is possible to pursue a major in Chemistry and still have time for an off-campus program or another major. It just takes careful planning. If you are considering a Chemistry major, make sure you talk to an advisor soon: an advisor will help you make sure you are meeting requirements and are keeping your options open.

Talk to me if: you want an off-term internship, but don’t know where to start looking.

Most valuable academic information learned: Professors are an invaluable resource. It is important not to be intimidated (I know Chemistry professors especially can be very intimidating). Professors can help you with everything from a difficult homework assignment to academic advice and career advice, and most are actually eager to assist you.

Favorite class and professor: My favorite class was my freshman seminar, Japanese Ghost and Demon Stories, with Professor Washburn. We watched all sorts of horror movies and read some amazing short stories for the class, but I think my writing really improved as well. My favorite class in the Chemistry department was Chem 64 with Professor Hughes. Professor Hughes does a wonderful job presenting engaging lectures on material of all sorts.

Major classes taken: CHEM 10, 57, 58, 64; PHYS 13; MATH 12, 24

Major journey: I have liked Chemistry since I took it in High School. After arriving at Dartmouth, however, I had some doubts. I had a difficult time deciding between chemistry and math, physics, biology, Chinese, and engineering (to name a few). I took a class or two in each major, and decided that I enjoyed the Chemistry classes most, and that Chemistry was the best career choice for me.

Major specific activities: Chemistry Society – Treasurer; Presidential Scholar – Research Assistant

Off Campus Program: Chinese FSP in Beijing, 06X

Other activities: Club Tae Kwon Do – treasurer, competitor

Thesis Status: I have not yet decided whether to pursue an Honors thesis.

Internship experience: I pursued a medical internship during Spring 07, shadowing and working for a cardiologist in Boston.

Kathryn Twyman ’09
Chemistry and Physics double major, Biology minor
F08-S09 D-plan: R-R-R

Favorite and least favorite thing about department: The chemistry major is quite rigid in terms of what classes you need to take and more specifically when the classes are offered (usually only once a year, and often required in sequential order). The major allows you to touch on a lot of different topics in chemistry with the organic chemistry series, biochemistry, inorganic, and physical chemistry series, so you get a taste of all different types of chemistry.

Important info for potential majors: With the major being quite rigid, it is really helpful to take Chemistry 5/6 or Chemistry 10 freshman year. This allows you to have a bit more flexibility in your D-plan and helps to space out the Chemistry classes rather than needing to double up later on.

Talk to me if: you’re interested in multiple science disciplines (any combination of chemistry, physics and biology).

Most valuable academic information learned: Quite a few academic advisors warn against taking two lab courses in a single term. It is a feasible option (and often unavoidable) when it is two different sciences (for example, chemistry and physics or chemistry and biology). However, it is tough to take two chemistry classes in one term since the lab component of the courses tend to take up a lot more time.

Favorite class and professor: Chemistry 10 convinced me to look at chemistry as a major option rather than just a prerequisite, but it’s really impossible to answer. One of the great things about the chemistry department is the professors. In general, they are very approachable, seem to genuinely care about the students, and are great teachers.

Major classes taken: CHEM 10, 41, 57, 58, 64, 71, 72, 87; PHYS 13, 14, 19, 24, 41, 42, 76; BIO 12, 13, 29; MATH 8, 13, 23

Major journey: I came to Dartmouth definitely majoring in the sciences, but leaning towards Biology and Physics. I decided to take Chemistry 10 freshman fall with Prof. Cantor to fulfill the Biology prerequisites and ended up really enjoying chemistry. From there it was the first term of Orgo with Prof. Jacobi sophomore fall, after which I decided to go for the major in Chemistry.

Thesis status:Considering a thesis on complex currents through ion channel proteins and the potential mechanism of neurotransmitters acting both as aqueous ligands and indirectly through the membrane in the Chemistry department with Prof. Cantor.

Off Campus Program: Spanish LSA in Barcelona, 07F

Other activities: Women’s Crew; WISP Mentor; START Program (freshman year); Bike and Build (Summer 06); Casque and Gauntlet senior society

Internship experience: WISP First Year Research Internship, freshmen winter and spring in cell biology with Prof. Sloboda; Presidential Scholarship junior winter and spring in chemistry with Prof. Cantor; Zabriskie Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship, junior summer in chemistry with Prof. Cantor.

Shreoshi Majumdar ’10
Biophysical Chemistry; Biology minor
F08-S09 D-plan: R-R-R

Favorite and least favorite thing about department: My favorite thing about the Chemistry department is that it is small and advising is very personal. The professors are genuinely interested in having you become a Chemistry major. They are willing to help you figure out your D-plan to accommodate minors and LSAs. My least favorite thing though, is the lack of flexibility. Because the required courses are offered in specific terms, your D-plan is quite constrained with junior fall being about the only free term. Also, you can’t really pick and choose your courses freely—there is a well-defined structure you need to adhere to.

Important info for potential majors: Careful planning is essential in this major. A lot of the courses are sequential and offered in specific terms. That said, your ‘plan’ is not immutably set in stone. If you wake up one day and want to go on a random LSA (like me), it is possible to work it in with time and patience.

Talk to me if: You’re interested in biochemistry and/or research but don’t know who or what to approach. Or if you’d like to take Chem 5 but are being strongly ‘advised’ against it.

Most valuable academic information learned: Science classes on the quarter system can be very intense. Chemistry classes, given the lab component, can and will require time and effort. Hence, time management is crucial (I know you’ve heard it before). There will be a lot of material to cover in the short span of 10 weeks. But if you’re on top of work, it will be an enjoyable experience.

Favorite class and professor: Chem 58 with Professor Grubbs: The class was challenging but organic chemistry just makes sense. By the end, I could think in moving molecules. Prof. Grubbs is an excellent professor who tried to keep things interesting even during a dreary winter.

Major classes taken:Chem 5-6, 41, 57-58; Biol 11, 12, 13, 14

Major journey: I came to Dartmouth wanting to major in Biology with a concentration in biochemistry. I took introductory classes in both departments. I met a lot of awesome professors in the Chemistry department, who offered invaluable advice. After taking Chem 58 with a bunch of other Chemistry majors, I decided that was the way to go.

Major-specific activities: I plan on researching with Prof. Dale Mierke my sophomore summer instead of taking classes and have applied to be a Presidential Scholar.

Thesis status:I will do one. (The department strongly encourages it, too.)

Other activities: Dartmouth Undergraduate Journal of Science: Editor-in-Chief/Managing Editor; WISP – Peer Mentor

Internship experience: Freshman winter and spring, I was a WISP intern with Prof. Xiahong Feng in Earth Sciences and continued working with her in sophomore fall as a Crute Memorial Intern. I was extracting and analyzing isotopic data from cellulose and lipids in pine needles.