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Department of Chemistry & Physics

Unrivaled access to outstanding lab facilities and a warm, close-knit community of students and faculty are hallmarks of chemistry at DeSales.

The majors in Chemistry and Biochemistry-Molecular Biology offer a uniquely DeSales experience. Our small class sizes, modern laboratories, and supportive community create an atmosphere for learning enriched by our Salesian values. Your teachers, advisors and research mentors know you and are dedicated to your success.

Our faculty represent a broad range of individual specialties and are well-respected for their research and professional activities. You will have the opportunity to take part in research, publish and present your work, and participate in a dynamic community of scientific inquiry.

You’ll have hands-on access to facilities unrivaled at many other liberal arts universities. Throughout their education, students gain extensive experience with instrumentation. Thanks to our generous endowments, grants, and benefactors, our instrument suite includes a recently purchased Fluorimeter, HPLC, and Bomb Calorimeter, and UV-VIS and IR spectrometers in addition to an AA, NMR, ICP-AES, GC, and GC-MS. Our freshman chemistry lab and physics labs are equipped with Pasco sensors and software that enable digital data collection and analysis.

Chem Demos Program Celebrates 20th Anniversary

by Janelle Hill May 27, 2021

The Chemistry Demonstrations program rang in its 20th anniversary with explosions, fire, and magic in a first-ever virtual show. 

Science students, faculty, and staff, along with the Office of Institutional Advancement, put together the virtual program with 14 taped demonstrations—including rainbow flames, methane bubbles, steel spaghetti spectacle, and winter wonderland. Students performed the experiments and then offered a step-by-step explanation of how each one worked and the ingredients involved. 

“We were so excited that we got to actually film a program this year given all the circumstances,” said Rania Nimeh ’21, a senior leader in the program. “We did have a lot of challenges, but we also had a lot of positives. We were able to do bigger and better skits, and we didn’t have a time constraint.” 

After the video presentations, Nimeh, Coby Rush ’22, Dr. Rodger Berg, associate professor, and Dr. Francis Mayville, associate professor, took part in a live Q and A session with members of the institutional advancement team.  

“This year has been a real challenge for us with the pandemic,” said Berg. “The circumstances that we have this year are quite different from the first 19 years. If it weren’t for our students, we wouldn’t be able to do it.”

Berg hopes to bring back at least two live Chem Demos during the next academic year. He also plans to keep a filmed version for those who can’t come to campus. The virtual presentation was part of the Office of Institutional Advancement’s Virtual Scholar series. 

Chem Demos Program Celebrates 20th Anniversary

by Janelle Hill May 27, 2021

The Chemistry Demonstrations program rang in its 20th anniversary with explosions, fire, and magic in a first-ever virtual show. 

Science students, faculty, and staff, along with the Office of Institutional Advancement, put together the virtual program with 14 taped demonstrations—including rainbow flames, methane bubbles, steel spaghetti spectacle, and winter wonderland. Students performed the experiments and then offered a step-by-step explanation of how each one worked and the ingredients involved. 

“We were so excited that we got to actually film a program this year given all the circumstances,” said Rania Nimeh ’21, a senior leader in the program. “We did have a lot of challenges, but we also had a lot of positives. We were able to do bigger and better skits, and we didn’t have a time constraint.” 

After the video presentations, Nimeh, Coby Rush ’22, Dr. Rodger Berg, associate professor, and Dr. Francis Mayville, associate professor, took part in a live Q and A session with members of the institutional advancement team.  

“This year has been a real challenge for us with the pandemic,” said Berg. “The circumstances that we have this year are quite different from the first 19 years. If it weren’t for our students, we wouldn’t be able to do it.”

Berg hopes to bring back at least two live Chem Demos during the next academic year. He also plans to keep a filmed version for those who can’t come to campus. The virtual presentation was part of the Office of Institutional Advancement’s Virtual Scholar series. 



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