The first step in choosing the right college should be to find a school with a quality academic program. Also, your school should be a place where you can see yourself being comfortable for four years. For me, that place was Lycoming College. Hi, I’m John Stutzman and I’m a chemistry major here at Lycoming.
I wasn’t exactly sure of a major when I came to college, but I did well in my high school science courses. At Lycoming, the more I learned about chemistry, the more I enjoyed it. One class led to another and pretty soon I started thinking about possible career paths.
The sciences at Lycoming enjoy an outstanding reputation and that is particularly true of the chem department. With no offense intended to the other sciences (my sister was a biology major at Lyco and is now in her last year of medical school), I think chemistry is tops. I say that because we have unlimited access to our profs, great equipment, and excellent opportunities for undergraduate research.
The fun part of chemistry is trying to solve problems and my most rewarding experiences have been in the laboratory. I spent one summer working with Dr. Ramsey experimenting with carbon glassy electrodes' reactivity and ultimately trying to fabricate an amine terminated glucose sensor (analytical chemistry). Another summer I traveled to Los Angeles and worked with Dr. Travis Williams at the University of Southern California. There I was doing organic chemistry and I spent most of my time looking at reaction mechanisms involving Shvo's catalyst and investigating the singleton experiment involving the kinetic isotope effect. Heavy stuff? Yes, but that’s what we do as chemistry majors.
While it’s important to study hard, there are many opportunities outside the classroom. My friends and I are active in many diverse organizations. For me that means serving as a Resident Advisor, participating on the Campus Activities Board, and playing on Lyco’s tennis team. And the best stress reliever? Playing rugby with my friends out on the quad.
I'm planning on applying to graduate schools. Given the reputation of our program and the success of our graduates I’m confident that I will get into several schools, hopefully with a full assistantship in hand. Lyco is a great school; come check us out.