Chemistry 390—Junior Seminar Spring 2011
Instructor: Dr. Greg Peters Contact information: SLC 268 (x4621)
Office Hours: Posted on board near office e-mail: email@example.com
Week / Date Class topic / Activity Assignment/Due Today
1 Internships (NSF/NIH), job search strategies for summer, Writing Nothing, it’s the first day
Essays for job searches—‘statement of purpose’ of class
2 Resume Preparation, References, Letter(s) of Recommendation Resume and/or Purpose
3 Faculty Presentation of Research Projects (part 1) Letter of Rec’ndtion
4 Faculty Presentation of Research Ideas (part 2); selection of research Faculty Lit Review(s)
5 Selection of Research Project; Literature review overview…Student Ditto above
6 Bibliographic information; Database creation; EndNote Literature references
7 Establishing Criteria for Literature Review; Search Methods (SciFinder) EndNote Assignment
8 Presentation of Search Results; Critically reading a Scientific Paper SciFinder Assignment
(How to Read! )
9 Peer Review of First Draft, Evaluation, Revision of Draft 1 First draft
10 ChemDraw Demonstration/Oral Presentation Skills TBD
11 Evaluation of Peer Review (for Draft 2); GRE strategies? Other? ChemDraw Assignment
12 Creation of an Abstract; Draft 2 due; Peer review of Draft 2 Rough Draft
13 Oral/Poster Presentation Skills Development of Literature Reviews (20 Student Presentations
14 Presentations of Literature reviews continues until the end of Student Presentation; Lit
semester. Review (all students)
The schedule above is tentative, and may be changed during the semester as necessary
Grade Scale 90% 4.0 85% 3.5 80% 3.0
75% 2.5 70% 2.0 65% 1.5
60% 1.0 below 60% Let’s not go there, shall we?
Graded Material. Your grade will be calculated as a percentage of all graded material. This
percentage stems from the quality of your written papers and homework, problem sets and/or other
assignments as distributed. Not all of your written work will have a formal ‘rubric’ associated with
it—for example, your CV/Resumé will be judged by those from whom you seek employment. For the
more involved assignments, such as your Literature Review, I will provide a detailed rubric for you to
use while preparing your paper. In other words, BEFORE you submit it for final grading. As a
supplement to this syllabus, I have handed out the overall grade sheet I used last year—yours will
resemble it, but won’t be identical. Remember, it’s only for guidance, each class is different.
Tests: I have not scheduled any exams in this class this year; please contain your
disappointment. I reserve the right to do so, but it would take some effort on your part to inspire me
to give an exam in this class.
Homework / Journal Notebook—Homework “problems” aren’t really the traditional kind—As you
progress through the Chemistry curriculum, you need to possess some specific skill sets—fluency with
a drawing program (like ChemDraw), bibliography generation (EndNote), search engines not named
Google (SciFinder, Web of Science) and how to read a paper (efficiently!). You will complete several
homework assignments that give you the basic knowledge of these tools; please bear in mind that the
time you dedicate to learning them NOW will pay off handsomely in the future in time saved.
Papers. Students will write several papers during the semester. As mentioned previously, not all
“papers” fit the traditional mold of college papers (resumés etc), but you will write them
nevertheless. The Term Paper (Capstone Project) will do several things for you: first, it will introduce
you to the topic about which you will conduct research in the fall/spring of your senior year.
Secondly, it will also give you some depth/insight into this topic (think about how much more
confidently you will approach your Senior Seminar next fall with this background). Third, it will give
you some experience writing an in-depth paper unique to you. Topic selection must be chosen with
permission of the Instructor/Advisor—preferably before the end of February. Individual deadlines will
be given to you in class. You are strongly encouraged to utilize the Writing Center (Room 015
Breiseth) AND your Research Advisor for review and editing. Papers submitted with significant
grammatical/mechanical errors will be returned without review (resubmission is permissible, though
subject to penalties such as lateness). I expect the quality of written work at the collegiate level to be
relatively free from flaws in grammar and spelling. I am also available in a limited capacity for
review/editing (I have served as a Copy Editor for two European Journals in the past).
Attendance Policy. Class attendance is expected. Repeated absence is deemed a sufficient cause for
course failure (Handbook—p. 57). Your grade suffers when you skip class, so don’t do it—often.
Withdrawal Policy. Students may withdraw from the course through week ten of the semester. It is
Chemistry Department policy that NO drop slips will be signed after the tenth week.
Student Services. Reasonable and appropriate accommodations will be made for students who present a
memo from the University College.
Plagarism/Cheating. The Wilkes University community shares “a deep commitment to academic honest
and integrity”. Penalties for violation of the University plagiarism policy range from a zero on the assignment
or test to course failure. Sufficiently egregious cases of plagiarism may be referred to the Student Affairs
Cabinet for further disciplinary sanctions. The University recognizes the following as violations of Intellectual
Responsibility—plagiarism, cheating and collusion. Furthermore the University also recognizes various forms of
plagiarism—deliberate, unintentional and self. Additional details can be found in the Student Handbook, p. 54-
Course Objectives: CHM 390 is a course designed to prepare students for life beyond Wilkes University.
The first part of the course gives the student a head start on securing summer employment (internship, REU,
government, etc)—typically the summer after a student’s third year serves as an ideal time to explore and
participate in these various opportunities. Furthermore, CHM 390 also begins the a student’s Senior Capstone
project; in this class, students will select their senior research advisor and prepare a literature and/or
background review of their chosen project. Students will also give an oral presentation on their research topic
and will learn a variety of presentation methods (oral presentation, PowerPoint, poster sessions).
Students in all chemistry courses at Wilkes University are expected to:
Demonstrate proficiency in analysis, organization, interpretation and presentation of chemical data
Express chemical concepts with quantitative relationships and to interpret the results obtained from these
quantitative relationships in terms of the chemical concepts conveyed in this format.
Demonstrate proficiency in written communication in a cogent and coherent manner.
Develop critical thinking skills and problem-solving abilities
Appreciate the relevance of chemistry in everyday life
Recognize the interrelated nature of the various chemical sub-disciplines and how they’re built upon basic
chemical principles such as acid base, formulae, reactions, nomenclature, and structure.