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Chemistry Department Weekly Seminar Series

We welcome guest speakers every Thursday throughout the academic year to present at the department Weekly Seminar. From research to industry, these presenters share their expertise as they engage with students and faculty. The public is invited to join us at Calvin in the Scence Building, Room 010 (lower level) from 11:30 a.m.- 12:20 p.m; refreshments provided.

An ESSENTIAL Element - Periodic Clothing

Calvin's Campus Store offers an element most colleges can't - Chemistry Periodic Wear! The element shortsleeve t-shirts, longsleeve t-shirts as well as hoods can be viewed and purchased online. Check out APPAREL under Merchandise on Campus Store's front page or link per the specific items above.

Novel NIH Grant Provides Snergy in the
Student-Faculty Research Experience

Calvin College chemistry professors Larry Louters, Eric Arnoys and Brendan Looyenga are neighbors--their offices are lined up in DeVries Hall.

While the three work in the same department, their research interests are all different. And throughout the year they work one-on-one with students to research in these areas. Full Story »

Aimee Vos (left) Evans Lodge (right)



U.S. News Recognizes Calvin College for Its Undergraduate Research


Calvin College is again ranked among the top colleges and universities in the 2015 U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges Guidebook

Full Story by Matt Kucinski »


Summer Research 2014

Summer 2014 found 24 undergraduate students working alongside 10 faculty members for 10 weeks of full-time summer research. Students participated in a wide variety of projects including watching membrane proteins in real time, investigating the binding interaction of insulin with G-Quadruplex DNA, cell signaling and endocytosis in kidney cancer, to exploration into rotationally restricted n-alkyl quinolines and numerous other projects. 

At the completion of their project, each student submitted a report and presented a poster at the Science Division Poster session in October during Family Weekend. Projects are funded by a variety of grants and fellowships, as well as Calvin funds.

Take a closer look at this summer's research projects »


Chemistry Prof Named Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar

The envelope was thin. “Initially my heart sunk,”said Doug Vander Griend, who had seen a similar envelope four years ago.
“I thought ‘thin letter, rejected again.’”

But as the Calvin chemistry professor opened it up, he read a letter congratulating him for his selection to the Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Awards Program—a first for a Calvin professor.

“It’s a tremendous honor, probably one of the premier awards in my field—being a chemistry professor at an undergraduate institution.” Read Full Story »


Calvin's National Reputation for Goldwater Scholars

Abigail Leistra is Calvin’s 15th Goldwater Scholar since 2008—a number unmatched by any other liberal arts college over that span of time. The award is considered by most to be the highest national award given to undergraduates in science, mathematics and engineering.

“This honor really is a testament to the strength of Calvin College's research program,” said Leistra, a junior biochemistry and chemical engineering double major.


Project SEED Summer High School Research Internship

The students have come to DeVries Hall from local high schools—City High, East Kentwood, Godfrey Lee, Grand Rapids Christian, Hudsonville and North Muskegon—to learn how to do science research. They’re part of Project SEED, an eight-week program sponsored by the American Chemical Society and the Integrated Science Research Institute. SEED (not an acronym) offers paid research opportunities to students who wouldn’t typically have those opportunities.
Full story

Calvin Biochemistry Students Vote for their Favorite Protein

Professor Eric Arnoys’ biochemistry II class has selected their favorite protein: Hemagglutinin,
a deadly killer. “This was pretty fun,” said senior Ian Robertson, the researcher and promoter of Hemagglutinin. “I enjoyed it. Congratulations to Ian and his protein hemagglutinin, the inaugural winners of the Jane Richardson Cup for Protein of the Year! The Winning Protein story »

"Sight, Sound & Smell" Interim Course Ends with Cooking Competition

At a computer lab in Calvin's chemistry department, students stared at computer screens, mesmerized by collections of online optical illusions. Suddenly, in a far corner of the room, two students, Mark Williamson and Tim VanderZouwen, burst into laughter. "You didn't see the gorilla?" asked Williamson, head cocked, eyes wide open, looking at VanderZouwen in disbelief. "Dude, how could you not see the gorilla?" "I don't know," replied VanderZouwen, shaking his head, a big smile splitting his face. "I don't know. I saw the curtain change color, but I never saw the gorilla." Nearby Calvin chemistry professors Eric Arnoys and Kumar Sinniah exchanged a look and smiled. It was day three of their Interim class titled "Sight, Sound & Smell," and the optical illusions were intended to get students thinking about ways in which the sense of sight works -- or does not work. Full Story »

Summer Chemistry Camps Introduce Science to over 100 students

2010 campWho kidnapped Beethoven? Our week-long chemistry camp prepared middle school students to solve this mystery by using a variety of chemical experiments including acid/base reactions, metal reactivity and chromatography to analyze the evidence. Over 100 students attended one of our five summer chemistry camp sessions this June, including a girls-only session. Learn more about our chemistry camp or check out the Grand Rapids Press article on our girls-only camp.

Students Face the Heat at the Chili Cook-Off and Habanero Eating Contest

2010 chili cook-off

Who makes the best chili? Each winter our professors create their best home-made chili, and then our students become the official taste-test judges as they compete for top Chili Award!
Students, on the other hand, brave the habanero pepper competition to become a member of the Habanero Club! Learn more »

Students Volunteer at National Chemistry Week

national chemistry week


Each October a group of our chemistry and biochemistry majors volunteer at the American Chemical Society's National Chemistry Week at Lakes Mall in Muskegon. Our students introduce several chemical concepts to children and adults through several hands-on experiments.