Major Student Learning Objectives – Students graduating with a Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major from Agnes Scott College will be able to:
- demonstrate knowledge of scientific principles that apply to biochemistry and molecular biology;
- demonstrate the laboratory and computational skills necessary to conduct research in biochemistry and molecular biology;
- critically analyze the primary literature in the field and communicate scientific information clearly and persuasively;
- apply critical thinking and problem solving skills to the disciplines of and issues relating to biochemistry and molecular biology.
Courses I have completed for the Biochemistry & Molecular Biology major:
I. Introductory courses:
CHE-150 INTRODUCTION TO CHEMISTRY
This course delves into the world of atoms and molecules in order to study the structure
of matter and the changes it undergoes. The course will provide an introduction to the
field of chemistry. Topics include atomic and molecular structure, stoichiometry, acids
and bases, enthalpy, and equilibrium. In addition, contemporary problems and
applications of these topics may be explored. Examples may include atomic and
molecular structure relevant to the design of new material such as memory metals;
stoichiometry as a means of achieving green chemistry; acids and bases
in the context of biochemical and environmental reactions; enthalpy in the context of
energy generating fuels; and equilibrium and its role in energy storing batteries.
CHE-150L INTRODUCTION TO BASIC CHEMICAL LABORATORY TECHNIQUES
This lab course focuses on the experimental methods in basic scientific measurements,
elementary reactions and analysis arranged around a theme such as forensics or the
BIO-110/L INTEGRATIVE BIOLOGY I
An integrated study of biological form and function as they relate to ecology, evolution
and genetics. Inquiry-based approaches to problem solving in science.
BIO-111/L INTEGRATIVE BIOLOGY II
An integrated study of biological form and function using one or more current problems
such as addiction and cancer as a central theme. Molecular, cellular and organismal
biology and the relationship of biological issues to science and society.
II. Organic Chemistry
CHE-240 ORGANIC CHEMISTRY I
The systematic study of the chemistry of organic compounds with emphasis on theories
of structure and reactivity. Specific topics include basic organic molecular structure and
bonding, isomerism, stereochemistry, molecular energetics, substitution and
elimination reactions, and reactions of biologically relevant functional groups.
CHE-240L ORGANIC CHEMISTRY LABORATORY
Introduction to fundamental experimental techniques of carbon‐based molecules,
including organic synthesis, purification and separation techniques, and theory and
interpretation of infrared and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy.
CHE-340 ORGANIC CHEMISTRY II
This course is a continuation of Chemistry 240 and it continues the systematic study of
the principal functional groups in organic compounds. Specific topics include the theory
and chemical reactivity of conjugated and aromatic systems, the fundamentals of
organic synthesis, and reactions of biologically relevant functional groups.
CHE-340L ORGANIC CHEMISTRY II LABORATORY
Project‐based synthesis based laboratories including functional group analyses and
reactions. Use of advanced instrumentation including nuclear magnetic resonance,
infrared spectroscopy and GC‐MS are required for analysis of project results.
III. Inorganic Chemistry
CHE-220 FOUNDATIONS OF INORGANIC AND PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY
This foundation course focuses on introductory aspects of inorganic and physical
chemistry. Topics may include fundamental chemical reactions, nuclear structure and
radioactivity, molecular shapes, trends as seen in the periodic table, equilibrium, gas
laws, molecular collision theory, the laws of thermodynamics, phases, reaction rates and
reaction mechanisms. To illustrate the role of chemistry in fundamental physical and
chemical behaviors, examples are chosen from a variety of areas including
environmental, medical, and forensic applications.
CHE-220L FOUNDATIONS OF INORGANIC AND PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY LABORATORY
Labs introduce students to the analysis and interpretation of observations. This course
will also illustrate fundamental principals of chemistry including: reactivity of main group
and transition metals; bonding and its relation to behavior; solution behavior; gas laws;
heat capacity and enthalpy changes; and kinetics of reactions.
CHE-260 PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY I
This course is a continuation of the introduction to physical chemistry that began in CHE-220. Topics will include general principles of thermodynamics and equilibria, kinetics and solution dynamics, and an introduction to quantum mechanics as applied in chemistry and biochemistry. More specifically, students will study such topics as the dependence of Gibbs energy on temperature and pressure, mixtures and solutions, theories of reaction rates, the Schrodinger equation, molecular orbital theory, and a brief introduction to symmetry.
CHE-270 FOUNDATIONS OF INORGANIC AND BIOINORGANIC CHEMISTRY
This foundation course in inorganic chemistry examines the behavior of the elements in an effort to identify and explain patterns on the periodic table. The course focuses on the
approximately 28 elements with known roles in biochemical systems including iron, copper, zinc, Na+/K+ , Mg+2, and Ca+2. Topics include the toxicity of environmental pollutants and the often surprising toxicity of nutritionally required elements such as iron and copper. Recent discoveries and case studies are used to explain biochemical selectivity in a wide variety of systems; plant, animal and archaea.
BIO-216/L MOLECULAR BIOLOGY/LAB
Genes and their activities at the molecular level in viruses, prokaryotes and eukaryotes.
Mechanisms of gene expression and regulation in health and disease. Advanced topics
in genetic engineering and biotechnology. Emphasis on experimental strategies and
data analysis. This course includes Inquiry-Based Research in place of lab.
Structure, function, regulation and transmission of hereditary materials in viruses,
prokaryotes and eukaryotes.
BIO-300/L BIOCHEMISTRY I/LAB
Fundamentals of biochemistry, including structure and function of biomolecules,
enzyme kinetics, bioenergetics, catabolic and anabolic pathways, signal transduction
and regulation of biochemical processes. Fundamental biochemical laboratory
techniques including spectroscopy, enzymology, chromatographic separations, and
MAT-118 CALCULUS I
Introduction to the basic concepts of differential and integral calculus, emphasizing
conceptual understanding and applications. Topics are covered from a graphical,
algebraic and numerical perspective. Mathematical writing is emphasized.
MAT-119 CALCULUS II
Topics include the integral and its applications, techniques of integration, improper integrals and an introduction to series and differential equations.
PHY-202 INTRO PHYSICS I: MECHANICS
A calculus-based course with laboratory covering Newtonian mechanics, oscillations,
and other classical physics topics.
VII. Advanced Courses
BIO-385/L ADVANCED BIOCHEMISTRY AND MOLECULAR BIOLOGY/LAB
Advanced, project-based interdisciplinary course involving laboratory research and analysis of primary literature in the fields of biochemistry and molecular biology.
BIO-440 DIRECTED RESEARCH
Directed research courses are open to junior and senior majors to work with a faculty
member on a project related to particular field of intellectual or artistic interest.
BIO-490 SENIOR THESIS
A senior thesis gives superior students the opportunity to write a thesis about a project
related to particular field of intellectual or artistic interest.
Courses I have completed for the Leadership Specialization:
GBL-101 GLOBAL LEARNING: GATEWAYS
Global Gateways is a 1-credit, team-taught course that introduces students to global
processes and systems based on a specific topic selected by the teaching faculty.
Students in all Global Gateways sections read and discuss a common set of texts, films,
attend public lectures, and participate in excursions connected to this topic. Throughout
the semester, the teaching faculty rotate through the various sections and thereby offer
a set of (inter)disciplinary perspectives on the course topic. As a final project, students
develop a set of research questions that link the course topic to their Global Journeys
course the following Spring semester.
GBL-102 GLOBAL LEARNING: JOURNEYS
This 4-credit course is the core course in the Global Learning curriculum of SUMMIT. It
introduces first-year students to global structures, systems and processes and connects
these concepts to first-hand immersion experiences. Drawing on a variety of disciplines,
interests and expertise, the course explores complex and interdependent relationships
across the globe. Students will examine a set of global themes through common
readings, dialogue and small-group discussions. These learning experiences will enable
students to identify, describe and evaluate critical assumptions surrounding global
issues. This course also prepares students for their first-year immersion experience,
providing them with the knowledge to recognize how global processes operate in a
specific location, as well as the skills to engage in meaningful intercultural
LDR-101 LEADERSHIP PROLOGUE
LDR-101 seminars explore how the liberal arts inform good leadership. They engage
every first-year student in the exploration of an interesting topic while providing the
intellectual orientation and skills foundational to college learning and effective
leadership. All LDR-101 seminars, regardless of topic, share specific learning goals
based on the faculty’s conviction that good leaders work well with others, think
analytically, and communicate effectively. For these reasons, all LDR-101 seminars
place special emphasis on five fundamental intellectual and leadership skills: critical
thinking, writing, public speaking, digital literacy, and teamwork.
LDR-102 LEADERSHIP DIALOGUE
Given that addressing complex global issues requires multiple perspectives and
disciplines, LDR-102 is a team-taught interdisciplinary course. The course builds on
LDR-101 by continuing to explore how liberal arts learning informs good leadership, by
invoking the framework and language of Agnes Scott’s approach to leadership, and by
explicitly drawing connections between disciplinary perspectives and the topic of
leadership. Thematically, LDR-102 foregrounds the role of questioning in exercising
leadership. The course is problem-based and enables students to experiment with
exercising leadership in the context of real-world problems.
SUM-400 SUMMIT PORTFOLIO
A 2-credit project to be completed over four years, the portfolio enhances intentional
decision-making by encouraging critical reflection at key moments in students’
academic careers and provides a venue in which students self-curate the artifacts of
their unique learning journey. In other words, the portfolio serves three main purposes:
- Container. The portfolio is a location for collecting significant academic artifacts. The
format flexibly accommodates a wide range of material (e.g., traditional papers, multimedia projects, recordings of live performances, etc.)
- Process. The contents provide a basis for reflective learning; students ponder their artifacts to make connections and discover interests.
- Showcase. Students can curate the portfolio (on multiple
occasions, with different audiences in mind) to highlight specific information and thereby communicate whatever knowledge, experiences and skills they choose for whatever audiences they choose.
TEAM GLOBAL CHALLENGE 2019
Team Global Challenge involved working with Tapestri, an organization supporting foreign-born victims of human trafficking and domestic violence, to develop products and communication methods to provide anti-trafficking information to agricultural workers in southern Georgia.
PHY-103 ELEMENTS OF PHYSICS II/LAB
Elements of Physics II/Lab.
MAT-115 ELEMENTARY STATISTICS
Statistical measures and distributions, probability and its application to statistical inference, linear correlation, hypothesis testing, confidence intervals, and applications in the natural and social sciences.
MAT-131 INTRODUCTION TO COMPUTER PROGRAMMING
This introduction to computer science, developed by Google and their academic computer science partners, emphasizes problem solving and data analysis skills along with computer programming skills. Using Python, students will learn design, implementation, testing, and analysis of algorithms and programs. And within the context of programming, they will learn to formulate problems, think creatively about solutions, and express those solutions clearly and accurately. Problems will be chosen from real-world examples such as graphics, image processing, cryptography, data analysis, astronomy, video games, and environmental simulation. Students will get instruction from a World-class computer science professor, delivered remotely through video and interactive media. Then they will attend class for collaborative team projects to solve real-life problems, similar to those a team at Google might face.
PSY-102 INTRODUCTORY PSYCHOLOGY: DEVELOPMENT,
SOCIAL BEHAVIOR, AND INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES
This is one-half of a two-semester introduction to psychology. This course will cover
topics such as social psychology, development, personality, and psychopathology.
ANT-101 CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY
Overview of cultural universals and cultural diversity, using comparative analysis of
African, American, Asian and other cultures. Examination of the impact of contact
between cultures and the contemporary condition of indigenous peoples, using case
studies (ethnographies), ethnographic film and class activities.
ENG-110 THE CRAFT OF WRITING
With literature as a context, this course engages students in critical inquiry through
reading, discussion, oral presentations, and writing, emphasizing an in-depth
exploration of the writing process from generating ideas to polishing the final draft.
Students will learn to analyze texts; develop a significant and focused controlling idea;
construct well-organized paragraphs to advance the argument or narrative; use sources
effectively; and write and speak with clarity, creativity, and eloquence. They will write
and revise frequently and will receive regular commentary on their writing.
ENG-206 INTRODUCTION TO CREATIVE WRITING
A multigenre course that will introduce students to writing in the forms and modes of
creative non-fiction (personal essay, new journalism, memoir, travel writing and the
lyric essay), fiction, including microfiction and short story, and poetry (prose, narrative,
and lyric), and dramatic writing.
FRE-102 ELEMENTARY FRENCH II
FRE-102 is the equivalent of two years of secondary school preparation.
FRE-201 INTERMEDIATE FRENCH I
Grammar review, oral and written comprehension, reading and composition.
FRE-202 INTERMEDIATE FRENCH II
Continuation of FRE-201 with emphasis on selected readings.
THE-131 ACTING I
As a foundation in acting technique, exercises and presentations contribute to the
process of freeing the student’s imagination and creativity for application to scene study
and class performance.
The first two weeks will be dedicated to teaching students yoga postures and proper
breathing techniques. Students will participate in a yoga exercise routine progressing
from basic to complex yoga postures for remainder of the semester.