Chemistry, Biochemistry, Pre-med, Pre-dental

hello everyone I'm professor Perry I'm

the head of our chemistry department of

Charleston Southern University I'm going

to tell you about some of the majors we

have to offer in our department some of

the programs we offer and let me also

tell you up front I'd much prefer to be

in a classroom talking to you

face-to-face but until we get back to

normal operations I'm a this virtual

session serve as a substitute once I get

to the end of it

you'll see some of my contact

information on the slide feel free to

contact me and when we get back to

normal operations if you have an

opportunity to visit campus I'd be happy

to show you around our science

facilities and and talk to you in more

detail about some of the programs we

have to offer but until then let this be

our substitute okay so in the chemistry

department we offer majors the

biochemistry major in that chemistry

major and then students who are

interested in careers in medicine or

dentistry we also direct them to the

biochemistry major and that is not at

CSU nor in any other university do I

know is there such a thing as a

pre-medical pre-dental major what

universities do is direct students

interested in those professional schools

do the major they believe that best

prepares them for entry into medical

schools and at CSU we believe that's our

biochemistry major it's going to give

you very solid preparation to do well on

application tests to professional

schools so of these two majors we offer

chemistry about

I'll talk a little bit more about both

of those chemistry major these are

really interested in more nuts and bolts

of chemistry and oftentimes heading

right out into the workforce innovation

sometimes going on to graduate school

and then the biochem major these are

students now who are interested in

understanding a lot of interest in

biology use the understanding of living

systems on a very fundamental basis now

let's be frank and note that for many

students chemistry is not their favorite

topic but if you make a connection their

biology which more students have been

trusted interested in and if we can show

students how you can explain biological

processes on a very fundamental basis by

understanding chemistry better now you

have your field of biochemistry and

that's a much more popular major amongst

our students than the chemistry major

it's now students who are interested in

chemistry these monks majors I've seen

at CSU these are some of the most

employable students immediately I'm

finishing their bachelor's degree and

that the employment opportunities are

readily available to them with the

bachelors we have students who have

graduated in recent years employed in

chemical companies right here in

Charlson area if students want to

further their training a chemistry major

is going to prepare them well for

graduate school Hydra school working on

a master's or doctoral degree those are

processes where the students are usually

have a lot of interested in research and

that says some graduates while clearly

working on the doctoral degree

is designed to facilitate a student

becoming more and more of an independent

researcher the where after obtaining the

doctoral degree one can lead a research

group students who don't go to graduate

school are oftentimes interested in

employment immediately after their

bachelor's degree well there's a lot of

testing analysis opportunities that can

be done with a chemistry major we have

some companies right here in Charleston

general engineering labs gel it's called

Bo - si and others that do testing of

soil samples a water pulls urine samples

all sorts of samples here they're

testing four different chemicals well

those who have a chemistry preparation

are well suited for such studies the

area of forensics in South Carolina and

pretty much every state now this the

state law enforcement division sled now

they have they have a crime research

labs forensics lab where samples are

gathered from crime scenes and came back

to lab and analyzed well not all but a

lot of these testing processes involve a

fundamental understanding of chemistry

being another area of forensics the

chemistry majors are well suited for

another one I have on our slide here

synthesis a sub-discipline of chemistry

is organic chemistry and those

interested in organic chemistry or

oftentimes interested in how you can

take basic building block and synthesize

those in this into something else times

chemicals that better the human

condition well that's a discipline we

call organic chemistry and it's a

discipline that involves synthesis of

chemicals if we had

library consisting while the chemicals

known today mostly chemicals in AD

library would be ones that have been

synthesized in the laboratory so organic

chemistry chemists engage in synthesis

and other important sub-discipline in

chemistry but there there are many

others I don't have time to you know

marry fear that depending on one's

interest a lot of other opportunities as

well a biochemistry major these students

also are are well equipped to seek

employment right after the bachelors

degree but many of them choose to go on

to professional school in that category

at place of dental school medical school

a pharmacy school also biochemistry is

good preparation all these schools you

have to take admission tests and those

admission tests cover on the fundamental

areas of science physics chemistry

biology and a biochemistry major is

going to give you excellent preparation

for admission into professional schools

like with a chemistry major those

biochemistry majors are interested in

exploring research opportunities further

they often go to graduate school you

know work on masters or and/or doctoral

degrees research and development with

companies biotech pharmaceutical

companies many opportunities here for

the biochemistry major is well depending

on the students area of interest now

when you're thinking about majors to

pursue a lot of different questions want

one probably wants to ask it's a few

those that are listed here and the first

one you see that are simply what do you

like to do what what gives you enjoyment

in life what when you wake up in the

and know you're gonna go what's what

what's gonna make you happy about waking

up in morning and knowing you you get to

go to work doing something you like to

do what is it that you like to do and

then you you want to that's sort of your

idea ideal and then you want to balance

that with a certain degree of practical

to which we have in the second point

here what a mark of light well what what

I what I like to do have that on one

hand but hopefully one can make a living

at that well what's the job market like

for what you like to do can those two

mesh nicely together what skills do I

need to get the job I want and that goes

along with the fourth point here as well

will this major adequately prepare me

well this major give me the skills for


well what do you what do you like to do

and what skills are you going to need to

do that well you want you want to pick a

major that's going to equip you with the

skills for the job you desire in the

area of medicine for example students

who end up going to medical school well

you can get the Medical School a lot of

different avenues can lead the Medical


but what but what ones are going to best

prepare you for that and that's where

our chemistry major comes in here again

that's a major it's going to give you

the very solid preparation for the

disciplines that not only are covered on

the medical school admissions tests but

also are covered these in the basic

science components the first two years

of medical school then lastly do I have

what it takes to successfully complete

this major again to be frank like

chemistry and biochemistry those are not

easy areas of study by any major they're

they're difficult it's not in them for

students really when they're first

starting out to get some grades they

wish they weren't getting well what type

of student are you what happens when you

get it pointing great you need a lot of

perseverance in these in these fields

you know yes you we provide a lot of

resources for to succeed

professors keep numerous office hours

each week and those are for nobody else

but the students we don't hold those or

gap time with fellow faculty or anything

else those office hours we hold those

are for the students no one what but the

students we want the students using that

we also have tutoring and no charge for

students another opportunity

many many resources we have at CSU to

help students who are having difficulty

and we encourage students don't be

bashful about taking advantage of those

resources you have at your disposal this

is a little bit of a comparison about

some of our majors in biology and

chemistry at CSU and if I start out here

in the far right with our chemistry

major you see that that has a of the

four majors shown on this slide that has

the most amount of chemistry also the

least amount of biology and actually

chemistry majors don't need to take any

biology at all and a rigorous amount of

mathematics and our teachers usually

take so much math that they end up

getting a minor in mathematics

and you see a year that's at least a

year of physics therefore the chemistry

major as well if you compare that with a

chemistry major we still have the year

of physics a little less math for the

biochem major considerably more biology

for the biochem major versus the

chemistry major right here and then a

little less chemistry for the biochem

major comparison to chemistry major now

these two majors right here biochemistry

and biology professional emphases

they're somewhat simpler and that they

have equal amounts of math requirement

somewhat similar amounts of biology and

chemistry requirement and then the

biochem major either with the year of

physics built in and that's a big reason

why we recommend the biochem major to

medical school applicants for example

because physics is a topic covered on

the MCAT exam and chemistry major

requires you to take a year of physics

about the general biology here that's

two major that students inserted more


no biology would take okay as students

you have you have a multitude of

different options out there as far as

choosing a college or university

so what's distinctive about CS you might

choose Charleston Southern University or

our most significant distinction is that

we're a Christian University and

certainly in the Lowcountry area of

South Carolina

that's our distinction that's our unique

feature and even somewhat in the

in-state there are other Christian

universities in the state of South

Carolina and not a whole lot so we're

still distinctive in that sense across

eight but being a Christian University

what does that mean at CSU Oh part of

our mission here academic excellence and

a Christian environment well Christian

environment at CSU what's that look like

well all the faculty are professing

Christians students we accept students

of any faith background or no faith

background at all just all students are

welcome regardless of a background now

it's said we we do we are very

purposeful about our own disciplines our

own areas of expertise how do those

areas of expertise relate to the gospel

that is something we purposely do in the

classroom and some of these you know

some disciplines that's easier to do and

others like chemistry for example well

we teach the same chemistry from the

same textbooks Nomos in any university

in America so that we have we have that

in common but what we are distinguished

by is how does our particular discipline

chemistry biochemistry

whatever is one study how does that

relate to the gospel and that's a that's

a focal point yeah and that's not always

easy to do but that's something that we

that we are very purposeful about

professors or regardless of their

discipline their teaching we have the

green light to do that we're encouraged

to do that anything if you ask most

professors why are we at CSU it's

because we get to do that that's that's

something we like to do that's that

thing when we wake up in the morning put

some bounce in our step so we get to

campus and teach our disciplines and how

do our and think about how how do our

disciplines relate to the good news the

good news of Jesus Christ science and

faith discussions there's a science and

faith forum that meets independently of

any more formalized lecture discussions

and then your typical course and these

are forms where they're led by faculty

member talking about a subject matter

that particular faculty member is

interested in this will be a subject

area often very contemporary one in our

society that we have a topic science

that something about that topic the

gospel says something about that topic

and you know oftentimes at least these

appear you know occasionally to be in

disagreement with one another

well it's science and in in faith these

are these are both pursuits of truth

they're methods of doing so are

different in each case but if they're

both pursuing truth and they're and

they're both understood correctly well

we don't believe those two are in

disagreement with one another when we

properly understand each so those are

those are issues we wrestle through

amongst the faculty amongst our

discussions with students Sony's science

and faith forums we we want students to

participate in those

they're welcome to to speak up well we

hope they're learning from us we also

hope to be learning from them a little

bit what are what are their perspectives

and can they shed some light on the

topic for us and then lastly here the

Whitfield Christian Leadership Center

that's a center we have on campus that

throughout the year hosts speakers these

are speakers who come in usually very

well-known speakers come in and discuss

a variety of different topics and then

sometimes those are topics of science

again very fruitful times to have these

discussions about how science and gospel

how can they inform one another another

distinctive Charleston Southern

University and this one's also quite

noticeable to me because I taught at

some universities where students

particularly in freshman classes sit in

an auditorium amongst several hundred

other students and that's not a that's

not the best of teaching environments to

make an understatement

well what about CSU CSU we put a lot of

we put a lot of time we allocate a lot

of resources to making sure our classes

stay at a much more manageable size

you're not going to have any classes

here with even a hundred students and

those don't happen you know in Sciences

and this is this is pretty standardized

across university now your largest

course you're likely to have be about 50

students that's the largest many of them

will be considerably less in size and in

the science classes in the largest

classroom we has holds 48 students now

that's the biggest lecture room size we

have in science and even for freshman

classes some of those section

they're just 24 again that's even for

four freshmen classes where were you

have an abundance of students and then

as you progress through that freshman

year and taking introductory course work

and continuing on into upper level class

work now your class sizes are you know

24 or less usually oftentimes maybe a

dozen you know eight ten twelve students

those those small environments that's

very conducive to learning no need even

students at CSU that would want to fall

through the cracks and not be known by

the professor well your professor is

going to know you at CSU and those those

personal interactions that's that makes

for a good learning environment and then

our our labs that we have with the

science classes the largest one you'll

have there in our chemistry lab 24

students max Nagumo C's when you get to

your sophomore junior and senior level

courses are driving average more around

a dozen students so small class size

another distinctive about CSU in

comparison to many other universities in

those small class sizes that makes for a

better learning environment the hands-on

experience here this follows very

directly from the small class sizes well

if you got small class sizes you have

less students competing given course

that's going to facilitate more hands-on

exercises less students competing for

the professor's time for competing for

equipment time well you have more

opportunities here to get more

intimately involved in your subject

matter and these would include

undergraduate research for our science

majors we don't require but we certainly

encourage students to do at least one

semester of undergraduate research

that's usually at least three credit

hours worth

and that would be where the student

works either one on one or two students

to one faculty member in any given

semester again meant many times it's

just one on one sometimes it's it's two

students per faculty member that would

be where the students are going into the

faculty members research lab and then

participating on a research project

conducted by the faculty member stay the

art instrumentation our Science Building

moving around fall two thousand four or

five and that's about 15 years or so old

now it's still very modern facility our

commentation it is very modern very

up-to-date it's well taken care of you

know you don't go into a laboratory and

find half the instruments in there and

in a state of bill then things are

working the instrumentation we have and

if we want to quantify it it's certainly

not the amount that a major research

university would have but for the size

institution we are you know around 3,500

students we're very well equipped to

carry out research projects some of the

other things you see I dissections uh

you find that and your your biology

classes and gene cloning PCR and DNA

fingerprinting those are techniques of

molecular biology frequently used and

biochemistry type work those are decades

old now but they're they're very

important techniques using an everyday

sort of fashion now to investigate a

number of number of research avenues in

the laboratory very very important

techniques again students are

facilitating and learning these

their techniques and then the

environment you know our building is

about 15 years old now but it's a

building kept in very good condition

laboratories very well-equipped faculty

research facilities not only do we have

the King labs but separate from those

teaching laboratories we have the

faculty research labs the animal holding

facility we don't currently don't have

any animal research going on at CSU but

we do have those areas students

interested in plants we have botany we

have a greenhouse area on the lawn

behind the Science Building and then on

both the first and second floors of our

science facility we have you know

student study areas and particularly in

the second floor large atrium like Lobby

that's one of the favorite places for

students to study that we have on campus

that's our science building right there

an open fall of 2005 fifty-four thousand

square feet the the general layout of it

it's a two-story building general layout

is of most of the biology on the first

floor in most of chemistry on the second

floor and I will note also in a lawn -

building that you can't see from the

picture here we just broke ground a

couple weeks ago on an expansion of our

science facilities and that new facility

vennett has some additional biology and

chemistry space it's also going to house

a new engineering program for your

engineering program is coming online and

on campus it's actually in effect now

for incoming freshmen an engineering

program but that facility will be

opening in about 18 months this is a

picture of our chemical instrumentation

laboratory on the second floor

a lot of the instruments their

chromatograph spectrophotometers

instruments that are used in analyzing

molecules not only in a quality sense

but also in a quantitative sense those

things you see hanging from the ceiling

all those are snorkels is remove any

volatile gases from the laboratory take

those outside students who are working

on a research project with faculty

member often times are involved in using

ups fermentation is laboratory and in

chemistry we have a course it's simply

called instrumentation that teaches as

the teaches the theory and practice

behind each of the many instruments that

we see there and then you know one of

our other other distinctives being a

university that's not too large in size

and around 3,500 students is that we

participate in Division one athletics

so we students that you know haven't in

that Leduc area there's opportunity to

participate in many different men's and

women's sports here and maybe you don't

have a lot of athletic talent but you

like being a spectator like I do well a

lot of opportunities to go and watch our

athletes and you know with your CSU ID

that's of no charge to you

and then are a little bit about the city

were located then we're on me CSU's

campus those of you who might not be

familiar with the area we're on the

outskirts of Charleston we may be sure

our exact distance may be about 15 miles

or so from downtown Charleston but

Charleston City Charleston annually

ranks as one of America's most friendly

cities it ranks very high yearly basis

and favorite destination for

international travelers someone who was

born and grew up in Ohio I'm one of

those Yankees that has migrated the

south but I'm very happy today to call

Charleston my home it's a beautiful city

the coastal areas of South Carolina

slide in general has done a pretty nice

job of taking care of their environment

or coastal areas are beautiful a lot of

opportunity to get outside and

participate in a lot of activities a lot

of cultural events in the city of

Charleston so CCSU is right in the

center of a thriving city that's got a

lot of history a lot of culture a lot of

great places to get outside and join

nature in my last few minutes here I

want to say a few things about your

preparation in coming to the University

now whenever students get to CSU as

professors we try to meet you right

where you are and do the best we can of

preparing you for your for your goals

for the for the job you're seeking well

the flip side of that is that we hope

before you get to CSU that you are doing

the best you can to prepare yourself

and the college board that administers

the SAT exam they've been doing this for

years and years and they have mountains

of data on test you know they they've

looked to see what students when you get

to the University the ones that are

succeeding what have they been doing in

high school and success here you know

that can be an arbitrary what we define

as success can be quite arbitrary but

the College Board defines that here is a

student then when they get to the

University and their freshman year they

they get a B or better average their

freshman year because the College Board

says getting that is very important as a

predictor and doing well your remaining

years and graduating them for from

college through getting a job afterwards

well the students that are getting that

that B average or better their first

year of college that correlates with

getting a SAT score in today's SAT about

1120 or better so that's that sort of

that SAT target there at least 1120 I

that is if you're getting that eggs a

pretty good predictor for doing well

once you get to college well working

backwards here still to get that 1120 or

better what have they been doing in high

school and this slide might be a little

difficult to read therefore you saw I'll

point out some of these first thing most

of these students are doing is taking

high level math whether it's

trigonometry precalculus or calculus

whatever the highest math courses your

high school has available take those if

you want to major in the sciences and

colleagues take those a higher level

math courses because we could build a a

pyramid where we would have mathematics

on the bottom and maybe physics above


history and biology and social sciences

as we get more to the peak of our

pyramid and that thing you have down at

the bottom there mathematic that's the

foundation for all of our sciences and

that is if your math you're doing well

in that area that's probably a pretty

good sign that it regardless of what

discipline science you choose you

probably have pretty good odds of doing

well these students are also completing

a core curriculum in high school that

would be four years of English at least

three years of science three years of

math and so forth they're also taking AP

or honors courses again if your high

school offers those and if you have the

prerequisites to take them take those

courses if you if you take with an AP

course for example and take the AP exam

at the end of it you score high enough

on that AP exam CSU and pretty much

every other university will allow you to

in effect test out of many freshman

level courses taking high level math

taking AP courses and we know those

aren't easy things to do you know one

hand in high school you're trying to

manage the jeat your GPA get a good GPA

because you're applying for scholarships

and what we know that we appreciate that

but as far as professors go you know we

want you to take those difficult courses

in high school even if your GPA gets

banged up a little bit that's because

that that's telling us that now you may

might it might have not gotten the score

in that class that you would have liked

have gotten but you took some something

difficult there and that's telling us

that you're gonna be more amply prepared

for your college level coursework so

let's say don't don't shy away from

those difficult courses at your high

school as professors we want you taking

those because those are going to better

prepare you for the college experience

one other thing to note here ranked in

the top 10% of their high school class

well that's not a very good predictor of

success in college and that tells us

that there's a lot of variability in our

in our high schools ranking in the top

10% of one high school well that may

really be outstanding ranking the top

10% of another high school well that

high school is not a strong high school

overall that may not hold a lot of

significance so don't don't get have any

hang-ups about where you rank in your

graduating class some of these other

things your your math preparation taking

AP your honors courses though those are

more significant when it comes to doing

well in college so those are some things

if you have time yet in high school then

you can be doing to give us a better

material to work with once you get to

the university we like to see you do

those things and then when you get to

the university you're in a better

prepared State we're going to be able to

hopefully propel you forward to higher

levels if you come in at a higher level

I think my time is pretty much expired

here we're thinking about some of these

things and you have any questions that

come up you have my email address on the

bottom of the slide there feel free to

send me an email and but like I said at

the onset if you can have opportunity to

visit the charleston area visit CSU i'm

more than happy to show you around our

science facilities and talk with you in

more detail about your career plans and

at least our chemistry and biochemistry

majors might apply to those so thank you

very much for listening goodbye