Chase Mabe knew early on that chemistry was his passion. But it has taken him some time and a lot of effort to get his footing in a demanding major. Some subjects have been especially tough for him, but at the College of Charleston he found the inspiration – and the support – he needed to succeed.
“My freshman year I just didn’t have the commitment required, so my grades suffered,” he says candidly. “And my second year, in organic chemistry, I really didn’t know how to study. So, I reached out and asked for help. I knew that I loved this subject, but I did have to retake the class. I got support from the professors, so the second time, I got an A. It was really rewarding.”
Since then, Chase has been excelling in the classroom. And some of the research projects he’s had the opportunity to participate in have been even more rewarding, he says. “While I was taking analytical chemistry, my professor was doing research on a really interesting project using a gas chromatograph to identify substances in various flavored vodkas. I was familiar with the device, so I asked if I could see a printout of the spectrum to better understand what she was studying. She not only gave it to me, but also invited me to watch her run samples on the machine. I couldn’t believe it. And then I was invited to participate in summer research on the project.”
Chase not only assisted with that research, but he also ended up presenting the results in a School of Sciences and Mathematics poster session. “My poster went on display in the science building. I remember my first semester here and seeing all those research posters on the wall and thinking, ‘these people must be geniuses, this is really out of my league.’ But now, my work is on the wall in that building where I study every day, and that’s a good feeling.”
An important discovery Chase made about the chemistry department is that once you get into research here, you become part of a close-knit community. “Because most of the professors are doing research, there are numerous opportunities for students to participate, and they want you to get involved. That’s exactly what I wanted when I came to Charleston, even though I really didn’t know it at the time.”
The chemistry department offers a supportive yet challenging environment where students benefit from accomplished faculty members and dedicated staff, state-of-the-art facilities, hands- on use of modern instrumentation and a culture that emphasizes experiential learning through participation in mentored research.
Our faculty members conduct research in a broad array of topics from analysis and synthesis of drugs to biofuels and the comparison of theoretical models to experimental observations of interesting new materials. heck out the chemistry major, it’s a lot more than you ever imagined.
- Research-focused program (students can earn up to 10 credit hours for research).
- Student research offices and state-of-the-art labs.
- Students accepted to graduate schools with full- tuition scholarships in many cases.
- Graduates have diverse careers in forensics, industry, teaching, research, health care, law and business.
- Summer stipends available for conducting research.
- Students make presentations at scientfic meetings.
- Hands on use of scientific instruments.