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Undergraduate Chemistry Resources

As a student in the Saint Louis University Department of Chemistry, you can qualify for assistantships, connect with faculty mentors and access important forms.

Undergraduate Assistantships

Laboratory assistantships are available for high-performing sophomores, juniors and seniors majoring in chemistry. As a laboratory assistant, you will help with grading and supervision of laboratory classes. You should be familiar with the techniques and calculations used in common experiments. Stipends for laboratory assistantships vary depending on the course, but are typically between $700 and $850 per semester.

Advising and Mentoring

The Department of Chemistry’s mentoring program connects faculty and students as part of SLU’s Integrated Advising and Mentoring System. Faculty members guide students in the major so you can stay on track to graduate, discuss research opportunities, pursue internships and explore other career-related opportunities. Faculty will discuss the major requirements, present the curriculum plans, answer questions and meet their mentees. Faculty will also provide updates to curriculum plans and discuss opportunities for undergraduate research. 

Students are also required to meet with your faculty mentor and outline your curriculum plan. Transfer students will receive one-on-one mentoring in order to assist with their integration into the chemistry degree program.

Undergraduate Awards in Chemistry

American Chemical Society Award in Analytical Chemistry

This award is given by the American Chemical Society Division of Analytical Chemistry to recognize students who display an aptitude for a career in the field. The winner is determined by performance in analytical chemistry and approved by the analytical chemistry faculty in the department.

American Chemical Society Award in Inorganic Chemistry

This award is given by the American Chemical Society Division of Inorganic Chemistry to recognize students who display an aptitude for a career in the chemistry field. The winner is determined by performance in inorganic chemistry and approved by the inorganic chemistry faculty. 

American Institute of Chemists Outstanding Senior Award

This award is given to a senior chemistry student and includes a certificate and a Merck Index. The winner will also have their name engraved on a plaque displayed in the front of Monsanto Hall.

Hugh B. Donahoe Award in Organic Chemistry

The Donahoe Award is named in honor of Hugh B. Donahoe, Ph.D., a member of the SLU chemistry faculty for over 20 years before his death in December 1972. It is given to a sophomore major who has displayed outstanding performance on a special exam given at the end of the two-semester undergraduate organic chemistry sequence. Donahoe’s wife, the late Jo Donahoe, established the award.

He was active in research, teaching and service during his time in the department. His teaching responsibilities were in the organic division but he had a strong interest in medicinal chemistry going back to his days in graduate school at the University of Kansas. The title of his Ph.D. thesis, completed under the supervision of his professor, Calvin VanderWerf, in 1950, was Hybrid Antimalarials; the Reaction of 8-Aminoquinolines with Nitrodiols.

He organized an active medicinal chemistry program at SLU, which produced graduates up to the Ph.D. level. Most of his research appeared in peer-reviewed organic and medicinal chemistry journals including the Journal of Organic Chemistry, the Journal of Immunology, the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, the Journal of Medicinal and Pharmaceutical Chemistry, and Applied Microbiology.

An article in the Journal of Chemical Education (“A Physiological Basis for the Grouping of the Elements, James Blake (1815-1893)”) was indicative of his interests in the history of chemistry and teaching. He also published in Industrial and Engineering Chemistry (a precursor of Analytical Chemistry).

Donahoe’s work was supported by research contracts with government agencies, private foundations and corporations. He served the chemistry department as acting chair and associate chair. Other SLU activities included heading the University’s NASA committee, membership on the executive committee of the Project 21 Task Force, and serving on the admissions committee of Sigma Xi, the honorary scientific organization.

One of Donahoe’s postdoctoral co-workers at the time of his passing, Vincent Spaziano, Ph.D., was hired as his replacement and served the department with distinction as chair from 1987 to 2002. The department’s Vincent Spaziano Memorial Scholarship is named in his honor.

Hypercube Scholar Award

This award is presented to an outstanding undergraduate student who aspires to attend graduate school in the chemical sciences.

James D. Collins Award for Excellence in Student Academic Achievement

This award is given to a senior that has demonstrated outstanding work as a chemistry major.

Leopold Marcus Award

This award was established by Jack Marcus, owner and founder of Missouri Analytical Laboratories, and his wife, Gertrude Marcus, in honor of his father, Leopold Marcus. The purpose of the award is to encourage high-level achievement in chemistry at the undergraduate level. The competition is open to seniors majoring in chemistry and biochemistry doing research in the SLU chemistry department under the supervision of a faculty member. The winner of the competition, determined by a ballot of judges who evaluate the entrants' poster presentations, receives a cash award and a certificate of achievement.

The award originated when Jack Marcus hired Richard Komoroski, a SLU undergraduate chemistry major, to work at Missouri Analytical Laboratories. Marcus was impressed with what Komoroski knew and could do compared to what was possible when Marcus was an undergraduate. He thought this should be brought to the attention of the St. Louis chemical community and worked with Tom Layloff, Ph.D., a SLU chemistry faculty member at the time, to establish the award. Layloff was active in the St. Louis section of the American Chemical Society. The original sponsors of the award were the St. Louis section and the SLU chemistry department. Marcus made a donation that provided the prize money. In the ensuing years, SLU's chemistry department took over sole sponsorship of the award.

The first winner of the Marcus Award even had a chemical name, Walter Boron. After graduating from SLU, he earned his Ph.D. and his M.D. from the Washington University School of Medicine and has had a truly distinguished career. He is currently the David and Inez Myers/Antonio Scarpa Professor and chairman of the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at Case Western University. From 1980-2007, he was a member of the faculty of Yale University. He returned to SLU to give the featured address at the dinner held in honor of the 25th anniversary of the Marcus Award.  Boron is a past-president of the American Physiological Society (1999-2000) and is currently secretary-general of the International Union of Physiological Sciences. He is the former editor-in-chief of two leading physiology journals, Physiological Reviews and Physiology.

Outstanding Freshman Chemistry Student

This award is given to a freshman chemistry major who has displayed outstanding performance in the general chemistry sequence of courses.

Saint Louis Section ACS Outstanding Junior Chemistry Student

This award is given to an outstanding junior in the SLU chemistry program every year. A certificate is awarded and the winner’s name is engraved on a plaque displayed in the front of Monsanto Hall.

Spaziano Award 

The Spaziano Award was established by the Department of Chemistry to honor Vincent Thomas Spaziano's many contributions as an advisor, teacher, faculty colleague and administrator. It is given annually to an undergraduate student for outstanding achievement in organic chemistry.

Spaziano was born and raised in Philadelphia. He graduated with a B.S. and M.S. in Chemistry from St. Joseph’s College in 1961 and served as a chemistry teacher and research chemist before pursuing his Ph.D. in Chemistry at Villanova University, from which he graduated in 1970. He came to Saint Louis University as a post-doctoral research associate before being appointed as an assistant professor in 1973, associate professor in 1977, and professor of chemistry in 1986. An organic chemist, he had an active research interest in medicinal chemistry, publishing fourteen papers, garnering over $200,000 in grants, and presenting papers at several conferences.

He was chair of the Department of Chemistry from 1987 until 2002 and Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 2002 until his retirement in 2010. During his tenure as chair, the chemistry department upgraded its instrumentation and expanded from eight to ten tenure track faculty and from one to two laboratory coordinators. During his retirement party in 2010, Dean Michael Barber, S.J., noted that as associate dean, “Vince did much to hold the College together during the many changes it has undergone. He was always extremely generous, serving on 30 committees in his 39 years at the University. He was the kind of person that colleagues, other chairs, and deans confided in, and, when he mentioned during his retirement party that he had never had a ‘cross word’ with anyone in his many years in the University, that fact had much to do with the way he treated everyone else. His love for the University was shown not only in his dedication as a teacher, scholar and administrator, but also in his being an avid fan of the Billiken basketball team. One of his favorite hobbies was watching thoroughbred horse racing.”

Spaziano passed away in November of 2010. At that time, Dean Barber said, “The College of Arts and Sciences will deeply miss this gentle, dedicated man who was available to the University community and whose strong commitment to the University anchored the commitment of so many others."