Chem Scholars

The Chem Scholars Program was established in 2011 to recruit and retain high-achieving chemistry students and to increase the number of chemistry students pursuing PhD or MD-PhD degrees, with an emphasis on under-represented students. Students involved in the program meet monthly to learn about summer research programs and post-baccalaureate opportunities, receive career advice, participate in peer-to-peer mentoring and receive professional development and mentoring from Chemistry faculty.

Now Accepting Applications

The Chem Scholars program is designed to support high-achieving students based on academic merit. Students must meet the following criteria: 

  1. Full-time Chemistry students maintaining a 3.0 GPA or higher
  2. Interest in pursuing a career in chemistry
  3. Demonstration of academic competencies in Chemistry and/or research productivity
  4. Participation in outreach/mentoring activities relevant to the study of Chemistry
  5. Have an interest in the advancement of underrepresented groups in Chemistry
  6. Taken General Chemistry I

Applications are currently closed but will re-open in January 2018.

Program Highlights

The learning community is modeled after the Meyerhoff Scholars Program, which was established by Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and the Meyerhoff Graduate Fellows Program directed by Dr. Michael Summers, a UWF Chemistry alumnus. The program incorporates four key components: academic and social integration; knowledge and skill development; support and motivation; and monitoring and advising.

Since the UWF Chemistry Scholars Program was established, the number of under-represented chemistry students pursuing Ph.D. or MD-PhD degrees has increased from 2 percent during the 2009-2012 academic years to 26 percent in 2012-2013.

“The success of the Chemistry Scholars Program is a direct reflection of our chemistry faculty’s passion for educating students through intense mentoring in combination with our students' fervent motivation to achieve their goals,” said Molek. “This combination creates an environment where students learn about research, scholarship and outreach opportunities, how to distinguish themselves from their peers and how to network with scientists at national conferences.”

UWF Chemistry Scholars Program Final

Chem Scholars at DOW-MIT ACCESS program
Seniors Karl Reyes, Pristine Kirkconnell and Cathlene Del Rosario recently attended the DOW-MIT ACCESS program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

UWF Chemistry Scholars explore post-graduate opportunities at MIT

Three University of West Florida Chemistry Scholars students recently attended the DOW-MIT ACCESS program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Seniors Karl Reyes, Pristine Kirkconnell, and Cathlene Del Rosario spent time on MIT’s campus in Cambridge, as well as surrounding areas. The all-expense paid trip allowed them to interact with graduate students, members of the admissions committee and program participants while meeting some of the world’s leading faculty in the fields of chemistry, chemical engineering, and materials science and engineering. This year, UWF was the only institution in the chemistry program to have three students representing their University.

This weekend-long experience allowed the UWF chemistry students to not only immerse themselves in the field of chemistry with top researchers, but it also allowed them to demystify the process of becoming a graduate student.


For more information, please contact:

Karen Sinclair Molek, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Chemistry Department
MARC U*STAR Scholars Program Director
Hal Marcus College of Science and Engineering
Phone: (850) 474-2799

Staci Musmanno
Program Assistant
MARC U*STAR Scholars
Hal Marcus College of Science and Engineering
Phone: (850) 857-6244