The mission of the Department embraces interdependent aspects of education, research, and service. In education, the Department seeks to provide a comprehensive education meeting professional guidelines for students majoring in chemistry at both the baccalaureate and masters levels, to provide high quality educational support for majors with a chemistry component in their curriculum, and to educate the general student body about the vitality and relevance of chemistry as a contemporary science. In scholarship, the Department seeks to expand the boundaries of chemical knowledge while simultaneously encouraging students to expand their intellectual horizons and develop critical-thinking and problem-solving skills through faculty-directed independent undergraduate and graduate research. In service, faculty members are expected to serve as advisors, mentors, and career counselors to students and to use their expertise in service to the University, the profession of chemistry, and the larger community.
The Department has a unique role to play in both graduate and undergraduate education within and beyond the University’s traditional service region. Because the Department has a graduate program focused differently than Ph.D. granting institutions do, it has a much stronger orientation towards individualized education at both the baccalaureate and masters level. Class sizes are small, and the level of individual student-faculty contact is high. The Department’s M.S. program is particularly well-suited for those students who are from other disciplines, not sufficiently prepared, or who are not ready to proceed directly to a Ph.D. program, and for those seeking specifically a terminal M.S. degree. At the same time, the Department’s size and resources offer significant advantages relative to private liberal arts colleges and public two- and four-year community colleges. The Department seeks to maintain a faculty with a wide variety of professional interests representing all areas of chemistry. This supports classes and research opportunities, which span the entire chemical spectrum. The Department seeks to remain well-equipped with modern chemical instrumentation, so that students learn to use the tools of the chemist’s trade.
Purposes and Goals
The Department's mission has six areas of purpose. They each are interrelated and are supported by goals and objectives which support the roles of the Department in the College of Arts & Sciences, in the University, and in the external community.
Purpose 1: Integration of Teaching, Scholarship/Research, and Service.
The Chemistry Department strives to promote an understanding of teaching, scholarship/research, and service as interdependent, inseparable components that synergistically contribute to its overall mission. In this context, the Department defines the following goals:
- To foster an increased understanding within and beyond the campus of the particular nature of the interactions between teaching, scholarship/research, and service in the chemical sciences and of how these components support one another;
- Increase the number of presentations by chemistry faculty to other groups (Sigma Xi, QUEST, other departments, classes, etc.) on campus.
- Encourage local media (e.g., Jambar, Vindicator, radio) to increase the number of stories they do on the "relevance" of our work (e.g., medical, environmental, materials), on grants received, etc. (Public Relations)
- Appoint faculty and student media coordinators (perhaps in conjunction with the POBS of the American Chemical Society and the YSU Office of University Relations) to publicize local chemistry related activities. (Public Relations)
- Maintain and increase chemistry involvement in outreach activities such as high school teachers Professional Days on campus. (Public Relations)
- Encourage interdepartmental faculty interactions in both teaching and research. ( Establish Curriculum to Promote This)
- "Careers in Chemistry" program to be presented to local schools, civic groups, and student organizations.
- In conjunction with other departments and units on campus, investigate the feasibility of establishing a "hands on" science museum (e.g., an exploratorium) in a new or renovated campus building.
- To encourage, support, and reward chemistry faculty who in their professional activity demonstrate the particular nature of the interactions between teaching, scholarship/research, and service in the chemical sciences;
- Maintain departmental policy to encourage faculty to involve students in research. (M & G)
- In cooperation with ACS-POBS and the Public/Private Alliance, establish an annual student research symposium for schools and acknowledge the best contributions at each level.
- To help students understand the connections among what they learn in their chemistry classes, in their other university courses, and in their professional and personal lives outside of the university, and;
- Evaluate courses and curricula to establish an emphasis on such connections, perhaps by more topically focused and/or interdisciplinary coverage.
- Offer coursework in chemical practices in industry and government.
- Provide students the opportunity to go on field trips to enhance their formal course experiences. (Curriculum)
- Encourage faculty to require junior and senior chemistry undergraduate students to attend all departmental seminars and investigate mechanisms for enforcing this requirement. (Curriculum)
- Require graduate students to attend all departmental seminars (except when prevented from doing so by scheduled timetable conflicts) and investigate mechanisms for enforcing this requirement. (Curriculum)
- Encourage faculty to have students do papers and/or projects involving such connections as part of their coursework. (Curriculum)
- To develop opportunities for students both to apply classroom learning outside the classroom (e.g., research projects, cooperative education, technology development corporation projects, outside employment, public service activities) and to enrich the classroom through knowledge and experiences they bring in from the outside.
- Require undergraduate research and/or public service for all students in chemistry. (Curriculum)
- Substantially increase the degree of undergraduate student participation in research through dedicated courses (e.g., Chemistry 2650, 4850, and 4850L), through research oriented senior labs (e.g., Chemistry 5822 and 5831), and through increased financial support for student summer research.
- Explore the feasibility of establishing a cooperative education program with local and regional employers (e.g., GM, Packard, WTI, NASA).
- Require undergraduate students to participate in a poster presentation as part of their capstone experience (e.g. in QUEST, POBS, or other).
Purpose 2: Teaching and Learning
The Chemistry Department endeavors to enhance the quality of the educational experience at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. In this context, the Department defines the following goals:
- To review existing chemistry programs (i.e., B.A., B.S., B.S/M.S., M.S.), programs with a major chemistry component (e.g., NEOUCOM/YSU-BS/MD), and Chemistry service offerings (e.g., to students in Environmental Studies, Health Sciences, Engineering, and to other Arts & Sciences programs, including those for pre-service and in-service teachers) and to introduce new chemically related programs (e.g., B.S. and M.S.in Materials Science) with a view toward enhancing the quality and diversity of chemistry course and program offerings and servicing the needs of other YSU units. (Curriculum)
- Study and establish timelines for the introduction of new programs and options (materials chemistry, chemistry education, and environmental chemistry) and an assessment mechanism to track them over the 5 to 10 year periods typically required for their introduction.
- Ensure that other campus units and the senior administration approve the established timelines and are willing to provide the resources and support required to implement the proposed new programs.
- Seek American Chemical Society Committee on Professional Training (CPT) approval for biochemistry and chemistry education undergraduate degree options.
- Maintain the minimum (25 students) and optimum (e.g., 30 students) size for an active and viable M.S. program.
- To support Objective 2A.4., ensure that our department offers a sufficient number of competitive graduate stipends.
- Encourage all faculty to directstudent research, particularly at the graduate level.
- To encourage activities that result in revitalized course offerings and curricula and innovative approaches to the teaching and learning of chemistry including multimedia, computer based methods, and chemical demonstrations.
- Consult with other departments, faculties, and individuals on a proactive and regular basis about their needs in service course offerings. (Chair)
- Maintain and update multimedia and enhanced computer based instruction tools.
- Explore the possibility and wisdom of mandating more rapid rotation between teaching assignments to encourage the flow of fresh ideas into them.
- Seek internal and external funding for course/curriculum revisions (e.g.., Faculty Development, OBOR, NSF, Foundations). (Grants)
- Objective 2B.5. (1 year) Coordinate a structured program of training on instructional methodology for graduate student instructors..
- Establish a structured program of advisement training for faculty.
- Encourage faculty to participate in programming to assist chemistry faculty to become better teachers, including seminars relating to curriculum and teaching methods.
- Explore mechanisms for evaluating graduate teaching assistants’ performance in the classroom, including formal teaching evaluations.
- Explore possibilities to fund full-time resource person to develop, archive, and prepare lecture demonstrations. (Note: this was Objective 3D.3).
- To emphasize the unique importance of laboratory experiences in chemistry and to enhance both the instructional and research based lab experience of our students, and;
- Relate laboratory experiences to the needs of our service units.
- Carry out a bottom up review of labs to establish why they exist, what students should learn in them, and how best the labs can teach this.
- Investigate the advisability of developing joint senior level lab courses with private colleges, through the Public/Private Alliance, in our region.
- To continue to update the chemistry learning environment through the acquisition and maintenance of the requisite array of state-of-the-art chemical instrumentation, resources, and facilities to serve the need of students, faculty, and staff;
- Establish priority lists for new and replacement equipment (i.e., a formal equipment plan). (Chairs Advisory)
- Ensure that adequate funds and technical support are available within the department to maintain equipment. (Chairs Advisory)
- Develop job descriptions, and investigate more efficient use of stockroom and prep staff w/r/t maintenance and set-up of instructional labs, including solution prep, rotating unknowns, etc. (Chairs Advisory)
- Seek internal funds for new equipment and facilities. (Grants)
- Aggressively seek external funds for new equipment and facilities and provide recognition and support for those who do so. (Grants)
- Hire a computer/programming technician for the Department. (Chairs Advisory). This position also will contribute to Objectives 1B.2., 1B.4., 1D.1., 1D.2., 2A.1., 2B.2., 2B.4., 3A.4., 3D.5., 3E.2., 3E.5., 4A.4., 4A.5., 4C.2.-4C.5., and 4D.4.
- Acquire and equip adequate graduate and undergraduate research space. Seek contributions from local donors and alumni to support this effort. (Chairs Advisory)
- Establish a priority list for space needs, including initiating building committee to plan for new building and major facilities improvements.
Purpose 3: Access and Diversity
Recognizing its obligation to metropolitan Youngstown and to the world well beyond our region, the Chemistry Department aspires to widen the access it provides to people and ideas, striving to create a more diverse educational, work, and community environment. In this context, the Department defines the following goals:
- To maintain and improve accessibility to Departmental services and programs by offering a broad range of programs and courses which reflect the breadth of the discipline of Chemistry;
- Ensure a breadth of faculty background and course offerings. (Curriculum)
- Investigate the feasibility of increasing the range of courses offered in the evenings, on Saturdays, and during the Summer. (Chair)
- Investigate the feasibility of offering introductory topical chemistry courses through continuing education and the School of Education.
- Emphasize the extreme importance of "hands on" laboratory experiences utilizing state-of-the-art facilities and equipment in the chemical sciences. (NSF-CCLI, etc.)
- To increase the recruiting and retention of underrepresented groups and thus enhance the diversity of students, faculty, and staff in terms of ethnicity, gender, and academic subdiscipline;
- Encourage and support activities that reach out to underrepresented students in local K-12 schools.
- Encourage and expand projects that get underrepresented high school students to work in the chemistry department (e.g., Project SEED and NSF-REU).
- Communicate with high school science and math teachers about the opportunities for underrepresented students to attend YSU and participate in science activities (AP Chemistry at YSU and Chemistry 1515 and 1516 at high schools).
- To emphasize the unique role of our Chemistry Department, stemming from the high degree of individual attention we can provide to students, in the context of the Ohio chemistry graduate education system (i.e., as a B.S. feeder school and as an M.S. program optimized for students who are seeking a competitive edge in a Ph.D. program or who may not be ready or able to proceed directly into a Ph.D. program);
- Advertise the unique nature of our M.S. program (in the state and regional context) to regional colleges and universities. (i.e., it is designed as a terminal degree or as a preparation for a Ph.D. program for those students seeking a competitive edge in a Ph.D. program, or for those lacking the academic background or desire to proceed directly on to a Ph.D. program after their baccalaureate degrees, or for those re-entering universities after a period of employment, child care, etc.) (Graduate Coordinator)
- Evaluate our curricular offerings to ensure that they meet the needs of both students who will proceed to Ph.D. programs and of students seeking terminal M.S. degrees. (Curriculum)
- To expand the enrollment in our undergraduate and graduate programs, and;
- Set targets for an expanded graduate program and establish mechanisms to fund and implement them. (Graduate Coordinator)
- Reexamine the Chemistry 15XX, 26XX, and 37XX course offerings to see how modifications might be used to increase Chemistry enrollment. (Curriculum)
- Examine the utility of a lecture demonstration program including appropriately equipped lecture halls and trained students assistants. (Chem 1515-6, Coordinator)
- Establish and maintain inter-disciplinary programs having a chemistry component with other departments (e.g., environmental and forensic sciences, materials science, earth science).
- Survey students to determine what attracts them to chemistry and turns them away from it and implement reasonable changes suggested by the study results. (Chairs Advisory)
- Ensure that students are aware of traditional and non-traditional career possibilities for chemists (e.g., Law, Business, Technical Writing, teaching).
- To increase the prominence of our Department and YSU in general in the region, state, nation, and world chemical community.
- Increase the number of oral presentations by chemistry faculty and students at universities, companies, and conferences.
- Increase the number of publications by chemistry faculty and students in peer reviewed journals.
- Increase the amount of external funding. (Grants)
- Re-institute a YSU Chemistry speakers bureau. (Graduate Coordinator)
- Increase the number of collaborations and other professional interactions with external scientists and institutions.
Purpose 4: Research and Scholarship Activity
Since the quality of service and education provided by the Department is grounded in scholarship and research, the Department seeks to encourage and support excellence in scholarly activity and research. [In chemistry, research is defined as those original activities that expand the fundamental and/or applied knowledge base of the chemical and related sciences while scholarship is defined as those activities that disseminate current chemical knowledge or deepen and broaden an individual's understanding of such knowledge.] In this context, the Department defines the following goals:
- To increase the research activities of chemistry faculty as measured by the numbers of publications, presentations, grants, etc.;
- Ensure adequate RH for those actively engaged in research. (Chair and College)
- Schedule teaching load to ensure contiguous blocks of time for carrying out research. (Chair)
- Increase the quality and size of the chemical facilities. Plan for the construction of a new science building
- Acquire and maintain a broad range of state-of-the-art research equipment. (Grants)
- Provide adequate technical support personnel (e.g., computer, instrument, and electronics technician(s)) and/or service contracts. (Chairs Advisory)
- Strive to obtain an adequate number of competitive teaching and research assistantships for a viable M.S. program (e.g., 30 students) program so that the students can learn synergistically from one another. (Graduate Program Director)
- Re-establish an equipment replacement policy or some other avenues to maintain the availability of “modern” equipment. (Chair and College)
- To encourage scholarly activity and research that involves students in teaching and service;
- Ensure adequate TH and RH credit for supervision of student research. (Chair)
- Reward graduate students for excellence in teaching and service. (Awards)
- Reward students for excellence in research. (Awards)
- To sustain and enhance internal support for scholarship and research in Chemistry, and;
- Establish a source of start-up funding for new faculty. (Chair and College)
- Improve access to on-line literature searching capabilities for Chemistry faculty and students. (Library Coordinator)
- Ensure that library holdings reflect current faculty research and scholarship needs. (Library Coordinator)
- Ensure adequate PC availability and access to networks. (Chair)
- Update and expand the chemistry computer lab. (Chair, Grants)
- Ensure that adequate research space is provided. (Chair and College)
- Ensure non-tenured faculty adequate RH to establish their research programs and earn tenure. (Chair and College)
- Provide RH credit to allow faculty who currently are not very research active to re-establish a viable research program. (Chair and College)
- To enhance the level of external funding for scholarship and research in our department and the university community.
- Reward faculty for submitting and/or receiving external grant proposals. (Chair and College)
- Use the departmental grants committee to aid individuals and groups in writing proposals. (Grants)
- Insure that extra RH are available for those conducting externally funded research. (Chair and College)
- Establish short-, medium- and long-term targets for external funding and coordinate activities with other departments and the faculties of Arts & Sciences and Graduate Studies to reach these. (Grants)
- Investigate making tenure and promotion contingent on submitting external grant proposals. (Chairs Advisory)
Purpose 5: Connections with the Community
The Chemistry Department will maintain and extend its commitment to the greater Youngstown metropolitan community and to the wider Chemistry community. In this context, the Department defines the following goals:
- To provide leadership, knowledge, resources, services and activities to address the intellectual, technological, economic, and social needs of our communities;
- Make faculty available to support K-12 activities (e.g., Science Fairs, Career Days, classroom visitation, Professional Days).
- Encourage faculty to engage in discipline-related consulting services that serve the community. (Chair and College)
- Encourage minority participation in science (e.g., Project SEED, mentoring, enrichment activities for city schools).
- Develop faculty expertise profiles. (Chair and College)
- To continue and enhance our support of campus units whose primary function is public service;
- Encourage faculty interaction with Center for Engineering Research and Technology and Grants and Sponsored Research. (Grants)
- Encourage faculty participation in the Education Outreach Program (Grants)
- To continue and enhance our support of the wider chemical and intellectual community, and;
- Encourage active faculty participation in chemically related scientific organizations. (Chair)
- Host meetings of local, regional, and national professional organizations. (Chair)
- Encourage faculty and student collaboration with other colleges, industry, and governmental agencies.
Purpose 6: Institutional Environment
The Department values collegiality and thus strives to build an environment that fosters productive and respectful relationships with other individuals and groups/units on campus. In this context, the Department defines the following goals:
- To encourage intercollegial and interdepartmental interactions on campus that further innovative, high quality programs in teaching and research, and;
- Establish and support interdisciplinary programs.
- Encourage team taught courses. (Curriculum)
- Encourage interdepartmental research collaborations by faculty and students.
- Encourage research collaboration among faculty within the department.
- To involve Chemistry faculty in College and University decision making processes concerning planning priorities, and resource allocations for the mutual improvement of the department and those we work with.
- Encourage faculty service on College and University committees, especially those of the Senate and the School of Graduate Studies. (Chair)
Encourage faculty to volunteer for special assignments from Chair, Deans, and Provost. (Chair)