Date of Award

Spring 2018

Degree Type



Chemistry and Biochemistry

Director of Thesis

Dr. Amber Fallucca

First Reader

Dr. Thomas Makris

Second Reader

Dr. Thomas Makris


In the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of South Carolina (the Department), most curriculum-driven professional development is reserved for third- and fourth-year students. Classroom learning occurs at all levels, but the context comes late. Early exposure to career options and hands-on training is imperative for undergraduates to obtain maximum experiential learning. The purpose of this project is to advance the current professional development strategies of the Department, specifically targeting second- and third-year students. The study surveyed students' current involvement in professional development activities. The data on extracurricular experience and post-graduation interest was used to design a workshop series to reach students with practical tools for success, such as networking skills and synthesizing within- and beyond-the-classroom experiences. The impact of each workshop was assessed with post-session surveys asking participants about the value and applicability of the information shared. The most beneficial topics were incorporated into curriculum development of the Department's one-credit hour undergraduate seminar course. We will convert the course from faculty research presentations into a more complete, in-house professional development course. By integrating more advanced professional development into the curriculum, chemistry and biochemistry undergraduates will be encouraged to pursue experiential learning in their second and third years.


This work was funded by the USC Office of Undergraduate Research Magellan Scholar grant and the South Carolina Honors College Senior Thesis grant.


© 2018, Christian A Brown

ASBMB poster.pdf (1743 kB)