Hi, my name is Tess Duffin and I'm a chemistry major at Lycoming. I came to Lycoming as a transfer student half way through my freshman year. I had chosen my previous school because it was small and I wanted individualized attention from my professors, but I didn''t end up getting it. The transition to Lyco could not have been easier. Everyone was so friendly and helpful; I felt like I'd been here all year. It was exactly what I was looking for.
When people ask me about Lyco, I tell them it's the best of both worlds. Lyco has all the positive aspects of a big school- great sporting events, parties, nightlife- without the stress of a gigantic campus. Lycoming is just big enough to not know everyone but small enough that you can really get to know your professors. I can't imagine having a professor who doesn't even know my name! Also, it doesn't hurt being two minutes away from your classes in the morning.
My favorite thing about chemistry is that it is not memorization, but actually learning how to solve problems. The hands-on use of our department's instruments, including an IR, NMR, and GC-MS, give us better lab experience than just having a TA collect all the spectra. Chemistry is a challenging major, but it is also very rewarding.
Outside of the classroom, there are plenty of organizations to get involved in. From dancing to knitting, there's something for everyone. I'm currently a captain of the swim team on which my favorite event is the 100 meter freestyle, and I'm president of Chemistry Honor Society. I'm so lucky to have been given the opportunities to be a leader on campus. In my spare time I love to watch our sports teams' events. My favorite is soccer because we always get a big fan section organized.
This past summer I worked in Dr. Holly Bendorf's organic chemistry research lab here at Lycoming on 2-aminobenzaldehyde substrate-assisted intermolecular hydroacylation. Basically, we attempted to make ketones by reacting nitrogen-containing aldehydes with alkenes and rhodium catalyst. I had a great time and learned so many new things. I enjoyed my research experience so much that I have decided to apply to some grad schools. I love Lyco and I wouldn't want to be anywhere else!