Date of Award


Degree Type



Chemistry and Biochemistry

Director of Thesis

Dr. John L. Ferry

First Reader

Dr. S. Michael Angel

Second Reader

Dr. S. Michael Angel


My years at the University of South Carolina have been some of the most challenging and edifying periods of my life. I have been blessed by having a great professional and chemistry mentor in Dr. John L. Ferry who has helped me engage in scientific research in a meaningful way. As I watched other chemistry students, in particular, struggle with understanding what research really was and even how to understand the results and methodologies of it I felt that this was a huge issue that could be rather simply fixed. I have been privileged to apply for and receive a Magellan Fellowship that helped and encouraged me do my own research but that was basically the only outlet I saw in which my peers were doing real research and not just lab work in the name of research (i.e. simple lab duties that did not contribute to the intellectual field of the discipline of chemistry, or require further exposure to it). I believed that such exposure to and understanding of scientific research would be very beneficial to both students as they graduate and the university. So, I set on a mission to gather and review research that has been on such topics and to evaluate the specifically scientific (by that I mean physical sciences and engineering) research program at USC and compare it to the metrics and specifics that have been determined to be consistently part of top tier undergraduate research programs. During this process I learned a lot about university administration of such an endeavor. My study and proposal in the next several pages is far from a perfect plan for the university because, though I have learned a lot, I surely do not know as much as the administrators and tenured faculty that are involved in such high level decisions. My main hope is that the faculty and administration will read what I have to say, learn how their actions are perceived by at least one involved student, and then evaluate my suggestions for improvements.

First Page


Last Page



© 2017, Michael Caleb Bagley

Included in

Chemistry Commons