Welcome to our Chemistry Family!!

We are a scholarly group of faculty, students, and staff working together to explore the how the world functions at the atomic level. As a faculty, we believe in the hands-on training of our students. Our curriculum, therefore, is focused on providing ample student opportunities to work with relevant instrumentation, to learn experimental design, execution, and troubleshooting, and to practice with various forms of scientific communication. These topics are integrated throughout the core chemistry courses, capstone lab experiences, and undergraduate research.

Our department offers three possible degree paths: 1) a B.A. Chemistry degree that provides flex units for students to pursue a complimentary and/or additional interest to chemistry, 2) a B.S. Chemistry degree certified by the American Chemical Society, and 3) a B.S. Biochemistry degree popular among those also interested in biology. As part of these programs, all students have the opportunity to participate in an undergraduate research experience. Ongoing research in our department includes atmospheric and environmental chemistry, synthetic organic chemistry and the characterization of natural products, analysis of structure:function relationships of proteins, and the study of inorganic species in biological systems. Most of our undergraduate student researchers present the results of their work at a professional conference and some are co-authors on publications in scientific journals. Graduates of all three of our programs have been successful in continuing on to pursue Ph.D.’s in related fields, advanced degrees in health-related fields, or obtaining employment in local industries in a multitude of fields including biotechnology, enology, forensics, and cosmetics to name a few.

2001, the department began a re-birth with the hiring of new faculty and has since then experienced unprecedented growth. However, with 6 permanent faculty and approximately 140 majors we are a tight knit group. As faculty, we know our majors well through our small majors’ courses, one-on-one advising throughout our students’ academic career, undergraduate student research, and of course, we like a good BBQ or any excuse to get together, break bread, and share life experiences. I invite you to check out our website to see current research, activities of our Chemistry Club (the CNA: Chemistry Nerds Anonymous), our seminar series, and more information on our degree options and courses. We also have information if you’d like to make a donation so we can keep up the fabulousness! (It doesn’t hurt to mention that, right?)

And most importantly, if you have any questions, I invite you to send me an email at Jennifer.Whiles@sonoma.edu. I’m an e-mail junkie- so I promise you’ll get a response. You can also drop by and visit us on the 3rd floor of Darwin Hall. You can’t miss us- we’re the ones with all of our office doors open and from what I hear, talking really loudly. (Or maybe that’s just me!)

Best Regards,

Jennifer Whiles Lillig
Associate Professor, Chair, and Science Diva
SSU Department of Chemistry


Email: chemdept@sonoma.edu, Phone: (707) 664-2119
Mailing Address: Chemistry Department, Darwin 300, 1801 E. Cotati Ave Rohnert Park, CA 94928
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Department of Chemistry, School of Science & Technology, Sonoma State University
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