WASHINGTON, PA (Oct. 1, 2018)—Washington & Jefferson College (W&J) Professors of Chemistry Jennifer Logan Bayline, Ph.D., and Patricia Brletic, Ph.D., published an article about W&J’s candy chemistry course in the Journal of Chemical Education.
The professors enlisted chemistry majors David Miller ’19 and Halie Tucci ’19 and sociology major Kaitlin Roderick ’19 to assist with experiments for the article. The group’s efforts were featured as the cover story in the journal’s August 2018 edition.
With previous experience writing for the Journal of Chemical Education, Dr. Bayline thought that Dr. Brletic’s candy chemistry class would be an excellent subject for a feature in the journal. She approached Dr. Brletic about creating an article on the class, and they began writing the piece. The pair soon saw the opportunity to bring students into the project.
“We knew we would need help recreating the experiments from the class to get publication-worthy results, so we recruited students so they could gain experience and be co-authors on the paper,” Dr. Bayline said. “It’s easier for us [at W&J] to tailor-make these opportunities for students because of our small class sizes and the relationships we are able to build with our students.”
The students appreciated the opportunity to work on the project and see their efforts reaching an international audience.
“It was really rewarding to see our research accepted [in the Journal of Chemical Education,]” Kaitlin said. “I learned a lot, and I’m thankful for the opportunity to work on a project like this.”
The students took their knowledge on the road and presented their findings at the undergraduate poster session at the American Chemical Society’s (ACS) national meeting in Washington, D.C., during the summer of 2017.
“It was really cool to see all the undergraduate posters and interact with great minds in chemistry from all over the country,” David said.
Like other W&J professors, Dr. Bayline strives to provide hands-on learning experiences for her students, seeing first-hand the benefits they provide.
“It’s important because it gives them the opportunity to be independent scientists in the lab and to build confidence,” she said. “It gives them experience in doing what they would in the real world, which you won’t get from just reading a book.”
About Washington & Jefferson College
Washington & Jefferson College, located in Washington, Pa., is a selective liberal arts college founded in 1781. Committed to providing each of its students with the highest-quality undergraduate education available, W&J offers a traditional arts and sciences curriculum emphasizing interdisciplinary study and independent study work. For more information about W&J, visit www.washjeff.edu, or call 888-W-AND-JAY.